Continuing our series on the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) and work injuries, today we have decided to discuss what you should do if you are ever injured or become ill as a result of your working conditions. If you haven’t yet read our last blog piece on the WSIB, we encourage you to give it a read-through before you continue on here.
First and foremost, if you are ever injured or become ill from your job you will want to seek medical aid. You will also want to inform your supervisor or boss about your injury or illness as soon as physically possible. If you are unable to fetch them yourself, have a colleague find them and relay the information of your incident for you. Your employer or supervisor has several duties in the event of workplace accidents under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, and they will need to ensure those responsibilities are fulfilled as soon as possible. They will also need to take steps towards the prevention of further incidents.
It is also your employer’s responsibility to ensure that you go somewhere you can receive medical care – your workplace may even have a first aid station within it that you can be treated at immediately. If you don’t have a first aid station available, or your injuries are outside of their expertise, you will have to go to an outside medical facility for care. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you might even need to have an ambulance come and pick you up to take you to the hospital. If your symptoms or injuries are less severe, then perhaps someone else will drive you to a walk-in clinic, or if you are able, you can drive yourself. Your health and well-being should always be your number one priority when at work, no matter how much pressure you may feel to continue working.
Now that we have covered the basics, there is still more that you have to do in a workplace injury or illness scenario: document the event. Take notes, photos, videos, record or gather statements, talk to coworkers who may have witnessed what happened, tell coworkers what happened – the more information you can gather, the more likely it will be that the WSIB will rule in your favour. While we understand that documenting the event yourself is not always possible (if, for instance, you are too badly injured), if you are able, try to delegate the task to a co-worker you trust. Make sure your employer writes down everything you say about the incident as well, you want the facts that they submit to the WSIB to be as accurate as possible.
Your employer will need to file a report (form 7) with the WSIB if your injury causes you to switch to part-time or less time worked, miss time from work, need medical assistance more than simple first aid, or perform modified work at less pay or for more than 7 calendar days. You should request a copy of the report your employer files if they do not willingly provide you with one. You and your doctor will also need to file reports with the WSIB in order for you to claim benefits.