What Should I Do If I Get Hurt at Work?

Every year in Ontario, thousands of workers are injured on the job.  Knowing what to do is not always clear and if you’ve hurt been and are in pain, it’s normal that you might not be thinking clearly. Here is a short guide on what to do if you’ve been hurt at work.

Get first aid or see a doctor

First and foremost, an injured worker should seek first aid on-site or get medical attention from a doctor or hospital. It is your employer’s responsibility to arrange and pay for any costs associated with getting you to a doctor or hospital on the day of your injury.

It is also a good idea to take notes about what happened during your accident as soon as possible after the incident, and keep them in a safe place. Some important pieces of information to record would include:

  • What happened?
  • What time, what day, and where did it occur?
  • Who saw the accident?
  • What did you do afterwards? What did your employer do?

If you see a doctor, be sure to describe everything that happened when you were injured and all of your symptoms. Again, write down a few notes about the medical visit listing what you told the doctor and what treatment was given or recommended, if you can.  You should also ask the doctor to send a Health Professional’s Report to the WSIB.

Make a report to WSIB

In many cases, workplace injuries must be reported to WSIB. Use a Form 6 – Report on Injury or Illness. The exception? If you receive only first aid on-site AND don’t miss any work AND your pay was not affected, then you do not need to make a report.

Sometimes employers pressure their employees not to report their injuries to the WSIB.  These employers will say things like:

  • “You’ll lose your job if you make a report”
  • “Your injury or illness is not covered by WSIB”
  • “You’ll need to use your sick days to recover rather than report your injury”

None of these above are true and it is actually against the law for employers to discourage workers from reporting. It is not up to the employer to determine whether an injury is covered.  Only the WSIB can determine coverage. Learn more about the reporting duties of employers and workers here.

Take care of yourself

When you are injured, you need to allow time for yourself time to recover, both physically and emotionally. Be sure to follow the treatment plan set out by your doctor. If you are performing modified work following an injury, it is important not to rush to get back to your regular duties. Stick to your return-to-work program.

Make a claim for Worker’s Compensation or other benefits

After being injured, if you don’t miss any time or wages and keep your regular job/duties, you might not think that you need make a WSIB claim.

But in fact, it is critical that you make a claim for worker’s compensation after an injury because you don’t know whether your injury will worsen or become permanent. Compensation can also help pay for any medical or injury-related expenses you incur.

Many, but not all, workplaces are covered by WSIB. If you are not eligible for worker’s compensation through WSIB, you qualify for other types of benefits including employment insurance, CPP Disability Benefits, Ontario Works and benefits under the Ontario Disability Support Program. There may also be coverage under the employment benefits in place through your employer.

Who can I ask for help with all of this?

A knowledgeable and experienced WSIB and disability lawyer is your best option. At Van Dyke Law Office, we have been helping injured workers get the compensation they are entitled to for more than 25 years. Learn more about our WSIB claims practice, or contact us to set up a free consultation.

Additionally, if you are a union member, your union will offer you support. If you don’t belong to a union, the Ontario Office of the Worker Adviser has many resources to help you through this tough time as well.

Sources:  Steps to Justice & WSIB