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 straightforward, 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, get first aid on-site, or get medical attention from a doctor or hospital. It’s 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’s 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:

  • 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 – what you told the doctor, what treatment was given or recommended, etc., 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 by saying things along the lines of:

  • “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 are true, and it’s actually against the law for employers to discourage workers from reporting. It’s not up to the employer to determine whether an injury is covered; only the WSIB can make that call. Learn more about the reporting duties of employers and workers here.

Take care of yourself

When you’re injured, you need to give yourself time to recover, both physically and emotionally. Be sure to follow the treatment plan set out by your doctor. If you are doing modified work following an injury, don’t 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 you’d 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’re not eligible for worker’s compensation through WSIB, some other types of benefits you may be eligible for include employment insurance, CPP Disability Benefit, Ontario Works, and Ontario Disability Support Program. There may also be coverage under the benefits you get through your employer that could be helpful.

Who can I ask for help with all of this?

A knowledgeable and experienced WSIB 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 20 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