Workers' compensation for occupational injuries and diseases is an employee's right, not a privilege, and it is the responsibility of the employer and HRSDC-Labour Program to see that this right is protected.
To enable HRSDC-Labour Program to do its job effectively, the employer must report within three days all injuries involving medical attention or lost time. HRSDC-Labour Program determines whether the employer is covered under the Government Employees Compensation Act and obtains required information on employee status. Claims are checked immediately for accuracy and completeness, countersigned, then forwarded to the appropriate provincial workers' compensation authority. The compensation authority decides whether the disablement is the result of an occupational injury or disease, and determines the benefits to be provided.
Employees who are injured should be given immediate attention. In order to minimize the severity of the injury the first priority is first aid and/or medical care. Should the employee need to be transported to a medical facility, transportation will be provided by the employer.
Each employer is responsible for establishing and disseminating appropriate departmental directives and instructions concerning the procedures for notification of occupational injuries or diseases. It is the responsibility of the injured employee to notify his or her immediate supervisor of the injury as soon as possible.
In cases where, as a result of a work injury, an employee has had to obtain medical treatment outside of working hours, he or she should personally notify the employer immediately upon return to work, or by some other appropriate means if he or she is unable to return to work.
Every employer is required to establish procedures and monitoring systems to ensure that all employee occupational injuries or illnesses that require professional medical care (beyond first aid) are reported to the appropriate Regional Office of the Federal Workers Compensation of HRSDC-Labour Program within three days of their occurrence. Such injuries must be reported on the compensation form prescribed by the workers' compensation board of the province where the injured employee is usually employed. Compensation forms must not be sent directly to a provincial workers' compensation authority.
The employer is required to maintain an accurate record of the date, type of injury, etc., for all minor injuries that involve first aid only, that is, those which do not require the services of a medical doctor. These records are to be retained in the work place for two years. Employers are reminded that in the case of first aid, injuries should not be reported to HRSDC-Labour Program.
If the employer does not agree with the details of the accident as stated by the employee, the employee's version must appear in the compensation form, but should be accompanied by appropriate comments regarding the employer's view of the circumstances. In addition, the employer may request an impartial investigation by the provincial compensation board.
All compensation forms must be signed by the foreperson, supervisor, or other responsible person in charge who has first-hand knowledge of the occurrence.
The original signed compensation form and subsequent employer's reports are to be submitted by the employer in duplicate to the appropriate Regional Office of the Federal Workers Compensation of HRSDC-Labour Program.
Records of accidents are essential to successful occupational safety programs just as records of production costs, sales, profits and losses are essential to the successful operation of business. To improve occupational health and safety, it is necessary to have accurate records of the incidence of work injuries and illnesses. This in turn allows occupational groups, departments or agencies to identify those problem areas that require immediate attention. Therefore, the compensation form should be filled out as completely and accurately as possible.
Care should be exercised in furnishing details, especially in the following areas:
For departments and agencies under Treasury Board jurisdiction and governed by the Government Employees Compensation Act:
The occupation of the employee as well as the occupational category or group should be given. The occupational category or group title should follow the classification found in Treasury Board Personal-Pay Input Manual (see your personnel office). Where at all possible, provide the employee's class code abbreviation (e.g. CR-5) on the compensation form. For example, if an administrative officer is injured, provide the following details concerning the employee's occupation:
For departments and agencies not under Treasury Board jurisdiction (i.e. Crown corporations, etc.) but governed by the Government Employees Compensation Act:
The occupational title of the employee as it appears on the job description should be shown on the accident report. The occupational title should reflect the main duties of the employee, and it should conform to the occupational classifications found in the Occupational Classification Manual, Statistics Canada, 1980.
For example, if a statistical clerk is injured, provide the following details concerning the employee's occupation:
Details such as an employee's age, the date current employment started, and the employee's wage or salary level (in cases where the injured person is or will be disabled beyond the day of the injury) should also be entered on the accident report.
Employers are required to ensure that all compensation forms furnish complete and related details of the accident and the nature of the injury. For example, it is not sufficient to indicate in a general way that an employee injured him or herself or suffered pain. It should be stated whether the injury was a contusion, bruise, laceration, strain, etc. The specific part of the body which was injured and the cause of the injury should also be identified.
As mentioned under "Employees hired abroad" persons engaged locally outside Canada are covered for workers' compensation either by a local compensation law or, if this is not applicable, by the Government Employees Compensation Act. In the first category, the employing department reports the accident to the local authority according to its requirements. However, claims in the second category are reported to the Federal Workers Compensation of HRSDC-Labour Program, Gatineau, Quebec K1A OJ2, in the usual manner using Ontario Workers Compensation Board forms.
These reports should be submitted promptly enclosing medical reports, witnesses' statements when available, and all other relevant documents, that is, medical accounts, etc. The claim is reviewed and the employer informed whether the injured person is entitled to benefits under the Act.
The claimant may request reimbursement for medical expenses by submitting receipts to the Federal Workers' Compensation Service.
The employer should indicate on the compensation form whether the claimant will be paid for any time lost as a result of the injury.
An employee may be absent because of the recurrence of a disability sometime after the return to work. Subsequent absences should be reported to the appropriate Regional Office of the Federal Workers Compensation of HRSDC-Labour Program by means of an explanatory letter or an amended compensation form. The original claim and/or file number should be quoted if available. The claim is then referred to the appropriate provincial authority. When the employee again returns to work, an Employer's Subsequent Statement must be submitted.
When completing a compensation form involving time off from work, particular attention should be given to the item regarding amounts that have been paid or will be paid to the injured employee for the period of disability. If the employing department or agency intends to grant salary in the form of injury-on-duty leave, this should be indicated by stating either "Will be paid salary for period of disability" or "Will be paid salary if claim accepted by the compensation board". The Employer's Subsequent Statement, completed when the employee returns to work, should also state the amount paid and the period for which the employee was paid salary.
Public service employees are generally entitled to this type of leave through the employment regulations or through their collective agreement, provided the claim is approved by the appropriate workers' compensation authority. HRSDC-Labour Program is prepared to inform the employer of the workers' compensation authority's decision on each claim when the provincial authority does not do so directly. This service can only be provided satisfactorily when accidents are reported promptly. Failure to do so will in many cases cause a disruption in the injured employee's pay.
When it is decided to stop granting injury-on-duty leave with pay to an employee who is still disabled, the employer should notify the appropriate Regional Office of the Federal Workers Compensation of HRSDC-Labour Program at once. The office will promptly arrange for the employee to receive the applicable workers' compensation benefits until the claim is settled.
At least two distinct and separate procedures and reports are required where there is an accidental injury in the work place. Some confusion exists because of the overlap of these two reports. One is generated for compensation purposes and is injury oriented, referred to in this pamphlet as the compensation form. The other report details the accident causes and recommends corrective action to make the work place safer. This second report is an "accident investigation report". Because of the differing purposes of these reports the employer is cautioned that a totally different approach must be used in completing the accident investigation report.
HRSDC-Labour Program can provide other pamphlets on this topic. Treasury Board also outlines the requirements for the accident investigation report in its procedures manual.
A claim for compensation is adjudicated by the province in which the employee is usually employed. For the purposes of the Act, this would be the province in which the employee has been appointed or engaged to work. For instance, an employee who is hired in Ottawa to work in Alberta would be considered to be usually employed in Alberta, whereas a person who usually works in Ottawa but who is sent to Alberta on a temporary assignment would still be considered to be usually employed in the province of Ontario. Also, the place of usual employment is not always the place of residence. For example, for an employee who resides in Gatineau, Quebec, but who is employed in Ottawa, Ontario, the province of usual employment is Ontario.