WSIB Now Enforcing 3-Business Day Deadline For Employers’ Initial Accident-Reporting

On September 29, 2023, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (“WSIB”) revised its policy on accident reporting. Employers covered under the Ontario workers’ compensation regime no longer have a seven (7)-business day deadline under WSIB policy; the WSIB is now enforcing a three (3)-business day deadline to align with the reporting requirement under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 (“WSIA”).

The WSIB must therefore receive an employer’s complete accident report within three (3) business days after the employer learns of the reporting obligation (business days are Monday to Friday, and do not include statutory holidays).

In every case, an employer’s reporting obligation depends on the nature of the worker’s claim. For example, if a worker is injured and seeks health care on the day of their injury, the reporting obligation begins immediately. However, if a worker is injured and returns to modified work at regular pay without seeking health care, the reporting obligation would not generally begin until the eighth (8th) calendar day and the WSIB must receive an employer’s report within three (3) business days after the eighth (8th)  calendar day.

More specifically, WSIB Operational Policy Manual (“OPM”) Document No. 15-01-02 (Employers’ Initial Accident-Reporting Obligations) and WSIB OPM Document No. 11-02-01 (No Lost Time) have been revised to align with the statutory requirement for businesses to notify the WSIB of an accident within three (3) business days after learning of their reporting obligation.

Those policies previously provided that the WSIB had to receive an employer’s accident report within seven (7) business days of learning of the reporting obligation. The WSIB has indicated that because the vast majority of businesses no longer submit accident reports by mail, the seven (7)-business day deadline is no longer needed.

WSIB OPM Document No. 15-01-02 (Employers’ Initial Accident-Reporting Obligations) sets out the relevant criteria for when employers must report a work-related accident to the WSIB.

In Our View

Employers should take note of this new three (3)-business day deadline under WSIB policy – rather than the previous seven (7)-business day deadline – to avoid a late reporting penalty. More specifically, at the initial entitlement stage of a claim, the WSIB will levy either a late reporting penalty of $250, or for those accidents reported after more than 30 calendar days, a penalty of $1,000. Delays due to inefficiencies in the employer’s administrative processes are not a valid reason for lateness.

WSIB policy further states that because failure to comply with reporting obligations is an offence under the WSIA, employers may be prosecuted. For further information, please see WSIB OPM Document No. 22-01-05 (Offences and Penalties – General).

For more information, please contact Paul Lalonde at 613-795-1752 or Sébastien Huard at 613-293-5295.

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