FAQ – What to Do When Injured on the Job in Ontario: First 5 Steps
The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) was established to protect employee rights in the event of an on-the-job injury or occupational disease. Workers’ compensation is offered through a no-fault system, but that does not guarantee you will receive the full benefits to which you are entitled.
Your own actions can positively or negatively impact your ability to collect owed benefits. Below are the recommended first steps after a workplace accident or injury in Ontario.
Seek Medical Care
Pursue medical attention if your accident injuries prevent you from being able to return to work. Your employer should provide and/or pay for transportation if your injuries require such accommodation. Seek assistance from a hospital or clinic if your own doctor is not immediately available.
Bear in mind some injuries, such as a concussion or herniated disc, may not be immediately evident. Proper follow-up care ensures you do not overlook a potentially debilitating injury.
Report the Injury
Notify your manager or supervisor of the accident and injury. Your employer is responsible for completing the WSIB forms necessary to initiate your claim for benefits.
Note: your employer is required to report your injury within three days if you:
- suffer lost wages ;
- require health care treatment ; or
- miss time from work.
Ensure your supervisor knows where and when the accident occurred and the nature of the incident.
Document Your Accident and Injuries
Your doctor is responsible for providing a doctor’s report to the WSIB. It is essential that your care providers accurately describe your injuries, diagnosis and treatment. Provide details about how your accident occurred and any symptoms you are experiencing.
You also should preserve and document your injuries for your own records. This includes
such evidence of your accident as:
- photos of your injuries ;
- photos and/or a description of the workplace hazard or accident site ;
- medical records; and
- witness statements.
This information may be critical in the event your claim for workers’ compensation benefits is undervalued or denied.
Contact a Lawyer Experienced in WSIB Claims
You have the right to consult with a WSIB lawyer after a workplace injury or illness in Ontario. While you are not obligated to hire a lawyer, doing so increases your chances of fair treatment, timely processing of your claim and just compensation for your injury and future losses.
A lawyer examines the details of your case to determine all available WSIB benefits and other potential compensation. A lawyer is also particularly valuable in the event of denial of benefits as he or she can assist you with filing an appeal and preparing for your hearing.
Cooperate With WSIB, Your Employer and Your Doctor
You can show good faith by cooperating with the following parties and in the following ways:
- your doctors – follow your doctor’s orders and do not return to work before you are given clearance to do so ;
- your employer – stay in communication about your expected return-to-work date and your healing progress; and
- the WSIB – promptly reply to WSIB requests for forms or other information.
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