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Is WSIB Ontario denying workers deaths?

Accidental deaths of workers in Ontario remain roughly the same, year after year. Yet the WSIB's claim payouts on injuries have plummeted, as the WSIB argues it has created a culture of safety. How can the deaths stay the same and the injuries plummet? Simple claims denial, says Sid Ryan.


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May 6, 2015 by Alec Caldwell

Canadian-Travel-Insurance-Claim-DeniedIt seems that Ontario’s WSIB has erased 1,150 deaths from their records in the last nine years.

Recently, Sid Ryan of the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) accused the worker’s comp agency of covering up 1,150 work-related fatalities over a nine-year period.

According to a recent report by Global News, Ryan said, “Every one of the 1,150 fallen workers who have been scrubbed from the WSIB spreadsheets is a real person with a real spouse, real children, real friends and real colleagues.”

The overpaid president of WSIB Ontario, David Marshall, who was hired during the former Dalton McGuinty government, has incurred a growing ground swell of resentment by the province’s injured workers. They say that one of the ways Marshall has been cutting the WSIB’s massive unfunded liability (money it owes in the future but has no method of paying out of its own assets) is to denying many legitimate claims – or cut them down substantially.

For his deficit cutting, Marshall got a $400,000 bonus – as a thank you from the government, basically – earlier this year.

It’s sad that the WSIB seems to be treating many legitimate claimants badly in the name of reducing billions off the WSIB unfunded liability. Because that debt (which is what it really is) was accrued by gross mismanagement of the WSIB over the years.

Ryan rightly speaks out about this government agency and its claims slashing. Deaths, unfortunately, have remained level the last 30 years (see chart) but with a little simple math, you can see that Ryan is right.

In 2013, WSIB total claims were at their lowest in 30 years, however the deaths are pegged at 349, which is way higher than in 2012. WSIB Death and Injury Statistics

How can the total WSIB claims be reduced to their lowest in 2013 while deaths remain level? Deaths are the barometer, the tip of the iceberg and, mathematically, when deaths go up or down, total claims should align with them.

Why would total claims go down to their lowest in 30 years in 2013? Its called claims denial by WSIB to reduce debt, which then causes hardship and misery to many claimants and their families. These are real people, like you and I.

Despite what you hear, or what WSIB is telling you, total claims have NOT been reducing due to the improvement of safety training or awareness, but simply due to the arrival of Marshall and his, I would argue, unethical ways of balancing the books.

To make matters worse, on January 1st, 2013, Bill 119 was introduced in Ontario, which forced the self-employed into WSIB. Imagine paying into WSIB only to find your workplace injury claim denied.

Simply put, WSIB is a badly run government insurance company that needs to be reviewed. I think maybe it’s time this job was tendered out to private insurance companies. What do you think? Do you have experience dealing with WSIB?

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Alec Caldwell

Alec Caldwell

Alec Caldwell is the Founder of CARAHS, a Health & Safety Organization. We are approved providers by the Ministry of Labour (Ontario) to teach Working at Heights Training (Pro#34609) Visit the Ministry of Labour's web site to view our listing
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3 Comments » for Is WSIB Ontario denying workers deaths?
  1. Anoymous says:

    After suffering a work-related injury 8 years ago, my claim was automatically denied, in which case I had to launch an appeal. I’ve heard from many HR Representatives that this is a standard practice for WSIB – deny all (non-obvious) claims and see who’s willing to go the distance. After two appeals, help from the Office of the Worker Represative and my local MP, Ergonomists, and Doctors letters, 1000’s of pages of documentation, my claim was finally approved after more than 2 years of battle. I have suffered a permanent injury at work, and have been unable to find equal employement since then. Without the support of my family, I would not have had the financial means to make it through those two years fighting my case. This is exactly how the WSIB is saving money – denying legitimate claims, and postponing the claimants until they give up.

    • CHRISTINE KRAUS says:

      I can expand on that. Not only did WSIB deny my claim they, and the accident employer (Sudbury Regional Hospital) systematically destroyed my life. This seems to be a repeat program from what I hear of others….. a standard-operating-procedure. I unfortunately had no support of family, friends that turned away. Defamation of character is their trump card. I lost my career, my home, my daughter, my family, my friends with no chance of employment – ever. This is how they save money, by destroying….devils works.

  2. Hassan Hashemi says:

    Violation of our “Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom” contrary to section 15 that provides equal justice for every one.
    Ministry of Attorney General is assisting un-fair conduct and provided means of facilitating crime against injured workers and contractors who are not fairly dealt with by allowing wrongful processing of court documents, perjury by staff members at WSIB and more…..
    Ministry of Attorney General has only one reason to cooperate with the scandals at WSIB and that is receiving favors or under the table money by the administration at Ministry of Attorney General and allowing of so much injustice implemented by WSIB and Ministry having taken a course of silence to it.
    The intent of laws are not met by the criminal organization WSIB operation, false affidavits are filed by staff at WSIB for misrepresenting contractor’s income and further pursuing judgment without contractors being heard in a court of justice.
    This is against the rules of civil procedure but the process is accepted by the court and bogus judgments are issued by the court clerks at Superior Court of Justice in Hamilton.