WSIB@WORK – Summer 2017 – Issue # 9
Chair’s Reappointment – Three more years!
We at the WSIB are pleased to announce that Elizabeth Witmer has been re-appointed to a three year term as Chair of our Board of Directors – a position she has filled with distinction since 2012.Mrs. Witmer has been a strong leader for the WSIB – she has led the WSIB in making great gains toward financial sustainability, allowing us to focus on improving outcomes for injured workers well into the future. Her diligence in promoting health, safety and prevention in Ontario workplaces continues to inspire all of us.
We are grateful for Mrs. Witmer’s leadership as we work to continue to improve our services to Ontario’s injured workers and employers.
WSIB – Partners in Prevention
WSIB is proud to support Threads of Life, a Canadian registered charity dedicated to helping families after a workplace fatality, life-altering injury or occupational disease. Since Threads of Life was founded in 2002, the WSIB has maintained a collaborative relationship with this like-minded organization.Steps for Life“Team WSIB” participated in the Steps for Life walk, on Saturday, April 29, at Coronation Park in Toronto to raise money to provide programming and services for the families Threads of Life supports. Friends, family and other health and safety professionals gathered in memory of young workers who were injured or lost their lives while at work. With a total of $3,300 raised, Tom Teahen, WSIB President & CEO and Team WSIB were among the top fundraisers.Steps for Life walks were scheduled across Ontario between April 29 and May 13. Staff in our regional offices also participated in support of this worthwhile initiative.Visit Steps for Life to find out more.
LifeQuiltOn Monday, May 8, Elizabeth Witmer, Chair, welcomed the LifeQuilt back to the WSIB for display in our Simcoe Place lobby. Our Chair, and Lorna Catrambone, Regional Development Coordinator for Central Canada at Threads of Life, spoke about the meaning and importance of the quilt: that we never forget the lives of young workers lost on the job.Completed in 2003, the quilt measures roughly 3m x 6m (9ft x 18ft). The centre image honours one hundred young workers injured at work. Bordering this image are one hundred commemorative blocks each portraying a young workers who lost their life while at work.Artist Laurie Swim worked with the quilters and families of the young workers to capture their feelings of overwhelming grief and chaos into the design. Having the LifeQuilt displayed at businesses and events across the country offers a chance to share their stories in a way that contributes to creating awareness about prevention.Visit LifeQuilt to learn more.
WSIB 2016 Annual Report Release
We are proud to announce that
the WSIB 2016 Annual Report has now been released! The report gives an overview of how 2016 was another year of improved supports for injured workers.
- In 2016, 92 per cent of injured workers returned to work at 100 per cent of their pre-injury earnings within 12 months of their injury;
- In 2016, 84 per cent of those who completed their work transition plans found employment, more than in any year since the program began in 2013; and
- In 2016, 94 per cent of eligibility decisions were made within two weeksof the claims being registered with the WSIB. This is well above the 90 per cent target we had set for the year and also above the 92 per cent achieved in 2015.“To be able to continue to support injured workers through providing benefits, return-to-work programs and health and safety efforts, it is important that the WSIB is in a strong financial situation,” said CFO Pamela Steer. “I’m pleased to report that our 2016 annual report shows how we reduced our unfunded liability on a sufficiency basis to $4.0 billion, down from $7.0 billion in 2015 and a high of $14.2 billion in 2011.”“While there is still more work to do, this is significant progress toward a more sustainable footing so we can continue to support injured workers,” she said. “This progress is also important for providing employers with premium rate stability.”View the 2016 Annual Report for more details.
By the Numbers – 2016 WSIB Statistical Report now available
Ontario’s lost-time workplace injury rate remains the lowest in Canada at less than one per cent. That’s one of many health and safety statistics to be found in the By the Numbers: 2016 Statistical Report, released by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB).By the Numbers highlights trends in Ontario for work-related injuries and illnesses, as well as recovery and return-to-work outcomes. The WSIB updates the report annually.“Safe, healthy workplaces are in everyone’s best interest,” said Tom Teahen, WSIB President and CEO. “By the Numbers gives workers, employers and researchers a window into overall workplace health and safety in Ontario, letting them see areas that are performing well and those that need improvement.”This year’s By the Numbers features interactive charts and graphs, and data can be downloaded in a variety of open, machine-readable formats. New data has also been added to Report Builder, an interactive feature that lets users choose the information they need to build their own reports. As well, reports can now be filtered by rate group.By the Numbers and Report Builder are available now at wsibstatistics.ca.
The WSIB launches the new Health and Safety Index
On May 11, the WSIB launched the Health and Safety Index, a new tool to measure the overall health and safety of Ontario’s workplaces.The index condenses a wide range of data from almost every sector of the economy into a single measure to show how Ontario’s workplaces overall are performing from year to year – how safe they are, and whether they’re getting safer.The measure is based on five categories of data in prevention, worker empowerment, workplace culture, enforcement, and injuries. We have used data gathered up to April 2017 to set a baseline and will publish new data along with the overall measure annually starting in summer 2018.The Health and Safety Index can help the WSIB, employers, and other partners in the safety system to identify areas for improvement and track them. The first index of its kind in North America, it was designed so that it can be adapted by other workers’ compensation boards across Canada.The Health and Safety Index is available at healthandsafetyindex.ca.
National Day of Mourning
On April 28, the National Day of Mourning,
we held a public ceremony at Simcoe Park in Toronto for Threads of Life families who have lost a loved one, workers, employers and WSIB staff. Approximately 200 attendees gathered to hear remarks from Chair Elizabeth Witmer, President & CEO Tom Teahen, the Honourable Kevin Flynn, Minister of Labour, and Elaine Keunen, mother of Adam who was tragically killed in a workplace accident during a co-op placement when he was 17 years old. Ms. Keunen’s powerful and heart-breaking story gave everyone in the audience pause to reflect on, and honour, those workers who have died, been injured, or suffered illness in the workplace.Last year in Ontario, 208 people were killed at work or died from an occupational disease. “To everyone who has suffered from a workplace tragedy, the WSIB stands with you,” said Tom Teahen. As the ceremony closed with the sweet sounds of St. Michael’s Choir School, everyone left with a renewed commitment to improve health and safety in the workplace and prevent further injuries, illnesses, and deaths. At sunset, the CN Tower and the 3D TORONTO sign in Nathan Phillips Square were lit in yellow, traditionally a colour of hope, as a visible tribute to the Day of Mourning.
WSIB Outreach to Seasonal Agricultural Workers
Ontario’s agriculture industry is worth an estimated $12 billion annually, according to Statistics Canada. Farms across the province’s agricultural belt rely on seasonal agricultural workers to plant and harvest their crops.Every year, approximately 24,000 workers travel from their homes in Mexico and Caribbean nations to work on Ontario’s farms during the growing season.The WSIB provides benefits and compensation for workplace accidents and injuries to Commonwealth Caribbean and Mexican seasonal agricultural workers beginning at the point of departure from their home country.This year, we are mounting a targeted campaign to inform seasonal agricultural workers about their entitlement to WSIB coverage and to help employers fully understand their responsibilities to this unique group.Our campaign includes new brochures printed in English, French and Spanish, along with posters and a stakeholder outreach campaign.
Prevent claim suppression – ALWAYS REPORT!
Timely, accurate and complete reporting of workplace injuries or illnesses enables faster claims and benefits decisions. This ensures that workers receive the health care they need to recover and safely return to work.Recent amendments to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act now make it an offence for employers to discourage workers from filing a claim with the WSIB. Effective January 1, 2018, new penalties will be applied to employers who suppress claims.
Learn about your injury or illness reporting obligations:
- Our new Always Report brochure outlines the four steps for injury or illness reporting for both workers and employers (available in multiple languages)For more information on claim suppression, please contact our Regulatory Services Core Stakeholder Compliance team. If you suspect that an employer is suppressing claims, please report it to our confidential Action Line at 1-888-745-3237 or report anonymously to the WSIB.
“It’s Your Job” video contest
For the third year, the WSIB has partnered with the Ontario Ministry of Labour for the “It’s Your Job” student video contest. The contest encourages secondary school students to submit short films to show the importance of working safely on the job.The videos from this year’s contest winners brought attention to the realities of workplace harassment and creatively shed a light on the importance of not being silent and to speak up for safety. All winners and their schools were awarded a cash prize.Watch the videos of the first, second and third place winners.
WSIB Launched Small Business Health and Safety Awards –
“Celebrating Health and Safety Leadership in Small Businesses”
– an excerpt from CEO Tom Teahen’s Blog:“Small business are a vital spark igniting Ontario’s economy, representing 85 per cent of our workplaces and 29 per cent of our workforce. Small business creates thousands of jobs that support our communities.But the passion small business owners have for their work is offset by the demands of running a business. Juggling workdays far beyond the typical 9 to 5, can make it challenging for owners to manager workplace health and safety.That was something I wrestled with when I ran my own summer painting company while in university. When we hired our first employee, we didn’t have the benefit of a sophisticated health and safety program. I remember struggling to figure out the rules, let alone best practices.Now, the WSIB can help.”Check out Tom’s full blog post.
“What’s New” – a newsletter by the Ministry of Labour:Stay updated on current news from the Ministry of
Labour by subscribing toWhat’s New. Delivered monthly to your inbox, this newsletter features the latest on occupational health and safety, employment standards and labour relations that could affect you and your workplace.Check out the newsletter here.
The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.To injured workers, we’re the agency that provides wage-loss benefits, health care coverage, and return to work and transition programs. To employers, we’re the agency that provides no-fault collective liability insurance and access to industry-specific health and safety information. But to our employees, we’re simply the agency that believes in getting injured workers across Ontario back to what matters.Copyright © 2016. All Rights Reserved.