• Workplace Safety Insurance Board (WSIB) is Ontario’s workplace compensation board and is an agency of the Ontario Government that operates at arm’s length from the Ministry of Labour. It is not funded by the government, rather by employer premiums, administration fees and investment revenue.WSIB is one of the largest compensation boards in North America and is primarily responsible for administering and enforcing the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act (WSIA)



  • The act ensures that people are compensated for work related injuries and occupational diseases and in turn, businesses cannot be sued by people who have become injured or ill at work. The act is based on the 5 principles of a compassionate compensation identified by its founder, Sir William Meredith. They are known as The Meredith Principles: 

Worker are paid benefits regardless of how the injury occurred. The worker and employer waive the right to sue. There is no argument over responsibility or liability for an injury

A fund is established to guarantee benefits paid.

  • Employers must share liability for workplace injury insurance and the total cost of the compensation system. All employers contribute to a common fund. Financial liability becomes their collective responsibility
  • Organizations who administer workers’ compensation insurance are separate from government
  • Only workers’ compensation organizations provide workers’ compensation insurance. All compensation claims are directed solely to the compensation board. The board is the decision-maker and final authority for all claims

The WSIB differentiates between two types of employers, as set our in the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act(WSIA)

  • Employers are primarily private companies (i.e. construction companies)
  • These businesses require compulsory coverage and pay premiums on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis.
  • Their premiums are based on insurable earnings (employees’ salaries) multiplied by a rate assigned to the business determined by the type of work they do (i.e. their rate group)
  • Make up approximately 309,000 employer accounts at WSIB
  • Often public organizations (i.e. municipalities)
  • These employers are individually liable, meaning the WSIB pays benefits directly to people injured or ill at work under Schedule 2 and are reimbursed by their employers for the cost of those benefits and the expense of administering them (administration fee) 
  • Make up approximately 550 employer accounts at the WSIB

Who Needs to Register with the WSIB?

  • Anyone who works in or has a business in the construction industry. There are some exceptions for those who work exclusively in home renovation and executive officers in select situations. If you are eligible for these exceptions ensure you follow through with the appropriate process, otherwise you may be vulnerable to audits, and retro-active premiums.
  • If you are acquiring an existing business there is specific documentation required to protect yourself against outstanding premiums and audit complications.

How to register?

Claims & Benefits

Coverage can include full medical care for people injured at work and wage replacement for as long as necessary until they are able to return to work. In the event of a fatality, the WSIB works with the surviving spouse to provide financial help, assistance re-entering the workforce if necessary, and support to provide for the post-secondary education of dependent children.

It is important to report and claim benefits as soon as possible. People who have experienced a workplace injury or illness have 6 months from the date of the injury to claim their benefits with the WSIB. For a workplace illness, it is generally 6 months from the date of diagnosis. Following the injury or illness, if treatment is needed from a health professional (beyond first aid), the employer is obligated to report it to the WSIB by filling out a Form 7. If the injured or ill person subsequently loses time from work, they must report the injury or illness to the WSIB by filling out and submitting a Form 6.

People who are injured or become ill because of work also have rights and responsibilities under WSIA.


All staff in Ontario workplaces have the right to:

  • Know about potential danger
  • Participate in making their workplace safe
  • Refuse unsafe work


All staff in Ontario workplaces have a responsibility to:

  • Work safely
  • Report unsafe work conditions
  • Wear the right safety equipment for the job

The Claims Process

When a claim is reported, the WSIB registers the claim and assigns it a claim number – over 90% of eligibility claims are made within two weeks of claim registration. If the claim is allowed, the injured or ill person is contacted and the WSIB begins to collect information from the health care provider (if applicable) and the employer. At this time, the Eligibility Adjudicator will determine if a claim needs support and if it does, the claim will be sent to a dedicated team of Nurse Consultants and Return-to-Work Specialists who work with the employer and employee to arrange for return to work and recovery.   

Written & Updated May 13, 2020. 

For more information on WSIB, compliancy and other inquiries

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