Discussion and Analysis
The WSIB is one of the most comprehensive workplace injury and illness compensation boards in North America. Between Schedule 1 and Schedule 2 employers, we cover 16 industries and businesses that are self-insured in Ontario. In 2019, we served more than 5.7 million employees and over 300,000 businesses, registered 257,000 claims, and issued $2.9 billion in benefit payments. The WSIB is committed to making sure that the insurance system for businesses and employees is sustainable and improving outcomes for anyone with a workplace injury or illness.
Summary of Performance for Schedule 1
The WSIB’s integrated recovery and return-to-work approach continues to have positive outcomes for both employees and businesses. Over the past 10 years, the number of workers covered by the WSIB has grown by 24 per cent, while the number of registered claims has increased by eight per cent. The 2019 lost-time injury rate was 0.98 and is 15 per cent lower than in 2010. In 2019, registered claim volumes went up by one per cent compared to 2018, while the percentage of covered workforce went up by three per cent.
Workplaces, people, and claims
Since 2010, the five industry sectors of services, health care, manufacturing, transportation, and construction made up 80 per cent of allowed lost-time claims and people covered by the WSIB. During this time period, these sectors had an increase in the amount of people covered by the WSIB but the number of allowed lost-time claims has remained mostly the same from 2018 to 2019, at around 49,000.
Continued focus on high-impact claims
High-impact claims are a category of allowed lost-time claims that involve injuries related to the low back, shoulders, and fractures. These types of injuries usually have higher treatment costs and longer recovery times. Over the past five years, high-impact claims made up 41 per cent of all lost-time benefit payments, and 31 per cent of all lost-time claims. The overall percentage of Schedule 1 high impact claims has gone down over the past five years.
Access to timely, quality health care is important to supporting recovery and return-to-work efforts for injured or ill employees and businesses. That is why we are expanding the network of specialized assessment and treatment services across Ontario for lower back and shoulder injuries.
Recovery and return-to-work outcomes
The average number of days lost within one month after an injury or illness has stayed relatively the same in recent years. In 2019 the percentage of injured or ill people receiving loss-of-earning benefits at three and six months remained the same as 2018, at 14 and nine per cent respectively. Benefit payments have seen an increase of three per cent from 2018 to 2019.
Our emphasis on an integrated approach to recovery and return-to-work, including specialized medical assessments and treatment services has helped improve our return-to-work outcomes.
In 2019, our return-to-work and case management staff continued to focus on return-to-work and building case-specific plans for employees and businesses early on in the claim. We want to support injured and ill people to return to productive and safe employment. For businesses, this means less disruption to their workforce because they will continue to have an experienced and productive employee at work. We are proud of the improvements we have achieved with our return-to-work and recovery outcomes.
The WSIB continues to focus on improving and modernizing our services, to make it easier for Ontario businesses and anyone with a workplace injury or illness to work with us and access our benefits and services. We have an ongoing commitment to increase our sustainability, transparency, and improve our systems so that we can continue to provide effective and efficient service to Ontarians.