Advocates Call for Investigation into WSIB

The Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) has called for the Ontario provincial ombudsman to investigate the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB).

The OFL recently filed a formal complaint with the Ontario Ombudsman Barbara Findlay. The 200-page submission was written by the authors of a previous headline-making November 2015 report entitled “Prescription Over-Ruled: Report on How Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board Systematically Ignores the Advice of Medical Professionals”.

The complaint builds on that report by adding further feedback received from doctors, injured workers, and other advocates. The authors say that approaching the Ombudsman office was a last resort, after having their communications to the WSIB repeatedly dismissed or ignored.

It includes case examples and letters of support submitted by doctors, legal clinics, and injured workers, along with examples of tribunal decisions that support the validity of the complaint.

The Toronto Star outlines the following main problems with the WSIB’s current practice:

  • “Disregard for the medical opinion of doctors treating injured workers;
  • Examples of the board forcing workers back to work against the advice of their physician or psychologist;
  • Overemphasis on injured workers’ pre-existing conditions for the purpose of rejecting, limiting, or prematurely cutting off workers’ claims;
  • Approval for medical services taking months;
  • Insufficient physiological or physiotherapy sessions for injured workers approved for benefits.”

See the full complaint to the Ombudsman here: SUBMISSION TO THE ONTARIO OMBUDS OFFICE.