WSIB Statement on Injured Workers' Day

TORONTO, June 1, 2015 /CNW/ - The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) is committed to the promotion of healthy and safe workplaces and provides workplace insurance coverage to more than five million workers and 290,000 employers. Today Ontario is one of the safest places to work in Canada and Ontario's injury rate is lower than any other province. Injuries resulting in lost time from work have dropped by almost 20 per cent in the past five years.

In order to strengthen return to work and health outcomes for injured workers the WSIB has made improvements to Ontario's compensation system.

RETURN TO WORK

The vision of the WSIB's Work Reintegration Program is to return injured and ill workers back to productive and safe employment. 

  • Improvements in customer service and technology have resulted in 93 per cent of claims being approved within two weeks - many within 24 hours.
  • Today 92 per cent of all workers who have been injured and lost time from work are safely back to work within one year of their injury at full wages.
  • As a result of improvements across the system, in the past five years more than 200,000 workers fully recovered from their injuries and returned to work with no loss in wages. 
  • A recent study shows that the system is working on behalf of injured workers. Work Injury and Poverty by the Institute for Work and Health (IWH) found "workers' compensation benefits were an important part of the earnings that kept them (injured workers) out of poverty." 
  • Another study by the IWH on benefit adequacy found that "the average earnings replacement rate for all impairment levels was 105 per cent of the non-injured worker control group." 

HEALTH CARE

Injured and ill workers are getting faster and improved access to more specialized medical care across Ontario. 

  • The WSIB's medical strategy stresses early and expert evidence based medical care appropriate to the injury involved. 
  • We have doubled the availability of specialty clinics for surgery and other specialized procedures.
  • Today the WSIB contracts with hospitals enabling back surgery in as few as five days of the need for surgery being identified.

ENHANCED SERVICES

The WSIB offers enhanced support to those injured workers who require additional assistance in their return to work.

  • Specialized services include: 
    • English as a Second Language
    • Work experience programs
    • Enhanced placement services for those who may lack work experience. 

Today the insurance fund is on a stronger footing than it has been in decades. For injured workers, this means that the system will be able to cover the benefits that will be owed to them in the future.

To learn more about what the WSIB does and how it serves injured workers please visit http://www.wsib.on.ca/cs/groups/public/documents/staticfile/c2li/mdyw/~edisp/wsib060404.pdf

SOURCE Workplace Safety & Insurance Board

For further information: Christine Arnott, WSIB Media Relations, (416) 344-4202, christine_arnott@wsib.on.ca

RELATED LINKS
http://www.wsib.on.ca

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