FAQs

WSIB

Do I have to register with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board?


​​If you are an employer employing 1 or more workers, you must register with the WSIB within 10 days of hiring your first employee. Registration is easy. Call the WSIB at 1-800-387-0080 or register on line at www.wsib.on.ca. Very few businesses are exempt from this regulation so call today. WSIB coverage is also mandatory for all independent operators, sole proprietors, partners, and executive officers in the construction industry. Some minor exemptions apply to individuals engaged solely in home renovation.




Do my employees have to report work related injuries to me as their employer?


Yes. Employees must report any work related injury to you. As their employer, you then have 3 days to report any lost time or medical aid injury to the WSIB.




I would like to know the minimum age for summer help in the landscaping trade as each year we employ 2 to 3 students.


Depending on the type of work that the students will be doing for you the minimum age varies. 15 year olds are permitted to work in industrial workplaces when they are required to use various pieces of equipment. 16 year olds are permitted to work on construction sites and 18 year olds are permitted to work in the mining industry.





TRAINING

If my workplace is a very old building, can extension cords be used as a permanent source for power? Are they grand-fathered if new wiring not feasible? What extra responsibilities would be required?


These types of situations are rare, but I would have the local electrical utility to come in and inspect the building. The MOL defers to them in this area.




If our building is very old and the ramp for transporting clients (in wheelchairs) is steep and increases the risk to the worker, what are some recommendations for control (There isn’t enough room to change the incline of the ramp and elevators do not connect to parts of the building)?


Grand-fathering is an issue in this situation. The employer should investigate the safest possible steps to be taken to ensure access for the client and safety for the employee. In some cases it may require a second person to be assigned to assist, etc.




If a vehicle is considered a workplace and a worker is in an accident going to their first client, are they covered by the Act even though they do not get paid for mileage to their first client? Agency? Or visit?


WSIB Legislation stipulates that if the person is normally required to use their vehicle to conduct work then they are covered as soon as the get into their vehicle on route to their first client. If the person only uses the vehicle at times, they are only covered once they have gone to their work headquarters and not during their commute. Could it be argued that the worker may not have been in the accident if they had not been on route to their client? The WSIB looks at each case individually but as a rule, if the person drives and uses the vehicle during their daily activity, the accident would be deemed work related.




With regards to volunteers: Does the employer have any responsibilities in the workplace in terms of the Act? In regards to them driving to and from the workplace if they are in an accident when they do not get any payment? What about if they get an honorarium?


The Occupational Health and Safety Act applies in employment situations only, as such volunteers are not covered, nor are they covered by WSIB legislation. Even in situations where they receive honorariums this interpretation applies. The only exception to this is the Volunteer Fire Fighters and that is by specific regulations. I always strongly advise companies to orient their volunteers to the same safety practices though, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and if volunteers work in a safe manner, then they do not create any additional unsafe conditions for the regular staff.




Have workers been covered under the WSIB legislation if they slip in their own driveway while preparing to go to their first client?


Not that I am aware of. Normally work starts once the vehicle leaves the person's driveway, unless the person has a "home as headquarters" arrangement.




How can a supervisor be compliant and show due diligence if their employer limits or impedes them from making appropriate decisions and follow up?


I always say "Document, document, document. If the supervisor has tried to get appropriate training programs or equipment changes and the employer has said No, document it. They can call the MOL and file an anonymous complaint just like any worker. If an incident occurs, they can also pull out their copies of the documentation to prove their efforts (How can they let MOL know and still realistically survive in their job?).





JOINT HEALTH AND SAFETY COMMITTEE (JHSC)

I recently hired some additional staff and now have 25 employees working for me. Do my obligations under the health and safety laws change?


If you did not have a Joint Health and Safety Committee before, then yes. Every workplace in Ontario that employs 20 or more workers on a full time or part time basis must have a Joint Health and Safety Committee in place. This committee must also have two certified members on it. All certified members must successfully complete both the basic and work site specific certification training. Describe your workplace in a bit more detail and I will be able to direct you in the right direction.




We are one corporation but have more than one site, how many representatives are required?


JHSCs are required at each site with 20 + workers unless the employer has applied for a Multisite JHSC agreement to be recognized by the Ministry of Labour (MOL). A Joint Health & Safety Committee size requirement varies depending on the amount of employees. For 20 to 49 employees a minimum of 2 members are required, one representing the workers and one representing management. For 50 or more employees a minimum of 4 members are required (two worker representatives and two management representatives).




When is permission required for multi-workplace JHSC required?


JHSCs are required at each site with 20 + workers unless the employer has applied for a Multi-site JHSC agreement to be recognized by the MOL.
A multi-site agreement is required when the employer does not want to establish a committee at each location which is geographically separate and there are 20+ employees at each site.
What is it and how does it work? The agreement allows the employer more flexibility and it is easier to manage a committee instead of several for consistency issues and true involvement by all groups. The concept started in the School Board System several years ago and is also used extensively in the Municipalities.




How do we ensure representatives be at the JHSC meeting if it isn’t geographically feasible?


I always recommend a representation of all work groups and concentrate less on geography. Recent changes to the Act now allow non JHSC workers to conduct inspections in remote locations when a multi site JHSC agreement is in place. These workers are NOT JHSC members nor do they have a right to attend JHSC meetings, unless invited to by the co-chairs. These employees do require training from the employer on how to conduct workplace inspections.





WORK CONDITIONS / WORKPLACE

If my workplace is a very old building, can extension cords be used as a permanent source for power? Are they grand-fathered if new wiring not feasible? What extra responsibilities would be required?


These types of situations are rare, but I would have the local electrical utility to come in and inspect the building. The MOL defers to them in this area.




If our building is very old and the ramp for transporting clients (in wheelchairs) is steep and increases the risk to the worker, what are some recommendations for control (There isn’t enough room to change the incline of the ramp and elevators do not connect to parts of the building)?


Grand-fathering is an issue in this situation. The employer should investigate the safest possible steps to be taken to ensure access for the client and safety for the employee. In some cases it may require a second person to be assigned to assist, etc.




If a vehicle is considered a workplace and a worker is in an accident going to their first client, are they covered by the Act even though they do not get paid for mileage to their first client? Agency? Or visit?


WSIB Legislation stipulates that if the person is normally required to use their vehicle to conduct work then they are covered as soon as the get into their vehicle on route to their first client. If the person only uses the vehicle at times, they are only covered once they have gone to their work headquarters and not during their commute. Could it be argued that the worker may not have been in the accident if they had not been on route to their client? The WSIB looks at each case individually but as a rule, if the person drives and uses the vehicle during their daily activity, the accident would be deemed work related.




With regards to volunteers: Does the employer have any responsibilities in the workplace in terms of the Act? In regards to them driving to and from the workplace if they are in an accident when they do not get any payment? What about if they get an honorarium?


The Occupational Health and Safety Act applies in employment situations only, as such volunteers are not covered, nor are they covered by WSIB legislation. Even in situations where they receive honorariums this interpretation applies. The only exception to this is the Volunteer Fire Fighters and that is by specific regulations. I always strongly advise companies to orient their volunteers to the same safety practices though, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and if volunteers work in a safe manner, then they do not create any additional unsafe conditions for the regular staff.




Have workers been covered under the WSIB legislation if they slip in their own driveway while preparing to go to their first client?


Not that I am aware of. Normally work starts once the vehicle leaves the person's driveway, unless the person has a "home as headquarters" arrangement.




How can a supervisor be compliant and show due diligence if their employer limits or impedes them from making appropriate decisions and follow up?


I always say "Document, document, document. If the supervisor has tried to get appropriate training programs or equipment changes and the employer has said No, document it. They can call the MOL and file an anonymous complaint just like any worker. If an incident occurs, they can also pull out their copies of the documentation to prove their efforts (How can they let MOL know and still realistically survive in their job?).





MINISTRY OF LABOUR

I recently hired some additional staff and now have 25 employees working for me. Do my obligations under the health and safety laws change?


If you did not have a Joint Health and Safety Committee before, then yes. Every workplace in Ontario that employs 20 or more workers on a full time or part time basis must have a Joint Health and Safety Committee in place. This committee must also have two certified members on it. All certified members must successfully complete both the basic and work site specific certification training. Describe your workplace in a bit more detail and I will be able to direct you in the right direction.




We are one corporation but have more than one site, how many representatives are required?


JHSCs are required at each site with 20 + workers unless the employer has applied for a Multisite JHSC agreement to be recognized by the Ministry of Labour (MOL). A Joint Health & Safety Committee size requirement varies depending on the amount of employees. For 20 to 49 employees a minimum of 2 members are required, one representing the workers and one representing management. For 50 or more employees a minimum of 4 members are required (two worker representatives and two management representatives).




When is permission required for multi-workplace JHSC required?


JHSCs are required at each site with 20 + workers unless the employer has applied for a Multi-site JHSC agreement to be recognized by the MOL.
A multi-site agreement is required when the employer does not want to establish a committee at each location which is geographically separate and there are 20+ employees at each site.
What is it and how does it work? The agreement allows the employer more flexibility and it is easier to manage a committee instead of several for consistency issues and true involvement by all groups. The concept started in the School Board System several years ago and is also used extensively in the Municipalities.




How do we ensure representatives be at the JHSC meeting if it isn’t geographically feasible?


I always recommend a representation of all work groups and concentrate less on geography. Recent changes to the Act now allow non JHSC workers to conduct inspections in remote locations when a multi site JHSC agreement is in place. These workers are NOT JHSC members nor do they have a right to attend JHSC meetings, unless invited to by the co-chairs. These employees do require training from the employer on how to conduct workplace inspections.





OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND

SAFETY ACT (OHSA)

If my workplace is a very old building, can extension cords be used as a permanent source for power? Are they grand-fathered if new wiring not feasible? What extra responsibilities would be required?


These types of situations are rare, but I would have the local electrical utility to come in and inspect the building. The MOL defers to them in this area.




If our building is very old and the ramp for transporting clients (in wheelchairs) is steep and increases the risk to the worker, what are some recommendations for control (There isn’t enough room to change the incline of the ramp and elevators do not connect to parts of the building)?


Grand-fathering is an issue in this situation. The employer should investigate the safest possible steps to be taken to ensure access for the client and safety for the employee. In some cases it may require a second person to be assigned to assist, etc.




If a vehicle is considered a workplace and a worker is in an accident going to their first client, are they covered by the Act even though they do not get paid for mileage to their first client? Agency? Or visit?


WSIB Legislation stipulates that if the person is normally required to use their vehicle to conduct work then they are covered as soon as the get into their vehicle on route to their first client. If the person only uses the vehicle at times, they are only covered once they have gone to their work headquarters and not during their commute. Could it be argued that the worker may not have been in the accident if they had not been on route to their client? The WSIB looks at each case individually but as a rule, if the person drives and uses the vehicle during their daily activity, the accident would be deemed work related.




With regards to volunteers: Does the employer have any responsibilities in the workplace in terms of the Act? In regards to them driving to and from the workplace if they are in an accident when they do not get any payment? What about if they get an honorarium?


The Occupational Health and Safety Act applies in employment situations only, as such volunteers are not covered, nor are they covered by WSIB legislation. Even in situations where they receive honorariums this interpretation applies. The only exception to this is the Volunteer Fire Fighters and that is by specific regulations. I always strongly advise companies to orient their volunteers to the same safety practices though, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and if volunteers work in a safe manner, then they do not create any additional unsafe conditions for the regular staff.




Have workers been covered under the WSIB legislation if they slip in their own driveway while preparing to go to their first client?


Not that I am aware of. Normally work starts once the vehicle leaves the person's driveway, unless the person has a "home as headquarters" arrangement.




How can a supervisor be compliant and show due diligence if their employer limits or impedes them from making appropriate decisions and follow up?


I always say "Document, document, document. If the supervisor has tried to get appropriate training programs or equipment changes and the employer has said No, document it. They can call the MOL and file an anonymous complaint just like any worker. If an incident occurs, they can also pull out their copies of the documentation to prove their efforts (How can they let MOL know and still realistically survive in their job?).





DEFINITIONS

I recently hired some additional staff and now have 25 employees working for me. Do my obligations under the health and safety laws change?


If you did not have a Joint Health and Safety Committee before, then yes. Every workplace in Ontario that employs 20 or more workers on a full time or part time basis must have a Joint Health and Safety Committee in place. This committee must also have two certified members on it. All certified members must successfully complete both the basic and work site specific certification training. Describe your workplace in a bit more detail and I will be able to direct you in the right direction.




We are one corporation but have more than one site, how many representatives are required?


JHSCs are required at each site with 20 + workers unless the employer has applied for a Multisite JHSC agreement to be recognized by the Ministry of Labour (MOL). A Joint Health & Safety Committee size requirement varies depending on the amount of employees. For 20 to 49 employees a minimum of 2 members are required, one representing the workers and one representing management. For 50 or more employees a minimum of 4 members are required (two worker representatives and two management representatives).




When is permission required for multi-workplace JHSC required?


JHSCs are required at each site with 20 + workers unless the employer has applied for a Multi-site JHSC agreement to be recognized by the MOL.
A multi-site agreement is required when the employer does not want to establish a committee at each location which is geographically separate and there are 20+ employees at each site.
What is it and how does it work? The agreement allows the employer more flexibility and it is easier to manage a committee instead of several for consistency issues and true involvement by all groups. The concept started in the School Board System several years ago and is also used extensively in the Municipalities.




How do we ensure representatives be at the JHSC meeting if it isn’t geographically feasible?


I always recommend a representation of all work groups and concentrate less on geography. Recent changes to the Act now allow non JHSC workers to conduct inspections in remote locations when a multi site JHSC agreement is in place. These workers are NOT JHSC members nor do they have a right to attend JHSC meetings, unless invited to by the co-chairs. These employees do require training from the employer on how to conduct workplace inspections.