January 15, 2015
The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) Work Transition program was developed to meet the unique needs of injured workers.

The WSIB says this kind of improved service and renewed focus on helping people get back to work are two top priorities, as the organization marks its 100th anniversary.  

Thanks to major investments in customer service and technology, 92 per cent of injury claims are now decided within two weeks — many within 24 hours.

Every injury is unique and not all workers are able to return to their pre-injury jobs, however, most workers recover and return to work shortly after an injury. Statistics show that 88 per cent are off benefits within three months and 96 per cent are off benefits within a year.

Research shows the importance of doing some work – even light work – within 90 days of their injuries. Otherwise, the odds that they will ever return drop by 50 per cent.

In 2009, WSIB created a new Return to Work Program and now employs around 300 return-to-work staff to help workers return to their current workplace or assist those with more complicated cases. The role also includes helping those who cannot return to their current workplace find alternative employment opportunities.

Last year, WSIB Return to Work staff made more than 26,000 visits to workplaces to help injured workers get back, more safely and quickly, to their jobs.

A worker injured on the job gets medical care that’s five times greater than what OHIP would cover for someone not injured at work. For example, WSIB contracts with hospitals, enabling back surgery within as few as five days of requesting it. As a result, health outcomes for injured workers have improved.

Since workers are now back to work more quickly and safely, this has contributed to lower benefit costs, making the system more sustainable for the future.

For more information on the WSIB program, go to http://gfl.me/x2nn.