Understanding WSIB: Accident Injuries

In our last post, we kicked off a series on understanding workers compensation (WSIB) claims in Ontario by talking about the main types of conditions that workers or their surviving loved ones can make claims for: accidents, disablements, psychological conditions, occupational disease, noise-induced hearing loss, and survivor’s benefits.

Today we’re going to do a deep-dive into the first category: accidents.  These are injuries that happen as a result of a single incident. Here are some examples from WSIB’s materials:

  • Hurt lower back while lifting a 50-lb box
  • Sprained left ankle when I slipped on a wet floor
  • Used a new cleaner and immediately got a rash

According to an article in Canadian Occupational Safety magazine, slips, trips and falls are some of the most common types of workplace accidents, along with: 

  • Explosions and fires
  • Overexertion injuries
  • Elevated falls (falls from heights)
  • Being struck by or caught in moving machinery
  • Vehicle-related accidents 
  • Falling objects
  • Collisions (with structures or other stationary objects)

Do I need to report the injury to WSIB?

Almost all workplace injuries must be reported. If you need medical care or treatment beyond first aid, if you aren’t able to go to work, or if you are being paid less or receiving fewer hours of work, you do need to report.

If you only needed first aid, AND you didn’t take any time off work, AND your pay wasn’t affected, then you do not need to report

The reality is that some employers don’t want their employees to report workplace injuries. It’s against the law for employers to discourage WSIB reporting. If your boss tells you not to report, that your injury isn’t covered by WSIB, or that you should use your sick days to recover, you should report anyway. 

Not sure whether you should report? It’s always wise to call WSIB to ask. 

How to report/make a claim for an injury

After your workplace injury, you’ll need to report it to WSIB within six months of the accident. By reporting it, you are beginning the claims process by which you can receive benefits including healthcare costs, lost wages, and compensation for permanent injuries. 

To make the report, you’ll need to complete what’s known as a “Form 6”. You can do this online,  or if you prefer to complete a paper copy, you can get one from your local WSIB office. Your union rep may also be able to provide one.