Injured Workers

For some of us it`s hard to imagine being injured at work and becoming incapacitated to the point where you are unable to perform your job or live your life the way you used to. Unfortunately, workplace injuries, illnesses and diseases are all too common. The WSIB claims and appeal process exists to give injured workers the ability to gain financial compensation in the event of a workplace injury, illness or disease.

If you filed a claim or would like to appeal a decision and you are having difficulty with either your employer or the WSIB, contact your Union Rep or the UFCW Locals 175 & 633 Workers’ Compensation Department at 1-800-267-1977 or at workerscomp@ufcw175.com.

The Altered Lives Project

In 2015, the UFCW Locals 175 & 633 Workers' Compensation Department began the Altered Lives Project to tell the stories of our Members who have been affected by workplace injuries and violence.

Please read the stories and if you have a story to share, or know someone else who might want to share their story, please contact the Workers' Compensation Department by email or call them at 1-800-267-1977.

Each story and experience is different, but the common theme found in the #alteredlivesproject is that injury prevention is a responsibility shared by workers, employers, co-workers, unions and the community. 

UFCW Locals 175 & 633 Altered Lives Project

April 28 is the National Day of Mourning

Day of Mourning Poster

Download the poster

Canadian workers and activists commemorate the National Day of Mourning on April 28 each year. On that day, we remember all of our co-workers, family & friends who have lost their lives due to a work-related injury or illness.

The health & safety of our members is a top priority for UFCW Locals 175 & 633: If you see a hazard or unsafe working conditions at work, or if you have any questions about safe practices, please speak to your workplace Steward, Health & Safety Rep, or Union Rep.

A list of 2017 Day of Mourning events is available here.

Check out our Facebook page for photos from commemorative events in 2016.

 

June 1 is Injured Workers Day!

Every year on June 1, unions, injured workers and other activists rally at Queen’s Park in Toronto, to help bring recognition to the plight of injured workers and the struggles they face in receiving fair compensation for their injuries and illnesses. 

In 2017, Injured Workers Day events began the evening of May 31 with an overnight vigil held by the Women of Inspiration. Participants sang, shared stories, and built solidarity at Queen’s Park.

On June 1, a group of about 200 people met at Queen’s Park to rally and hear speakers. Guests included OFL President Chris Buckley, MPPs Cindy Forster and Cheri DiNovo, representatives from the $15 & Fairness campaign, and more. The group marched down to the Ministry of Labour and met up with approximately 300 CUPE Members, each carrying a pink flag.

At the Ministry speakers included CUPE National President Mark Hancock, and CUPE Ontario President Fred Hahn. The rally also heard from Janice Martell from the McIntyre Powder Project, Tanya Williams who discussed health care work and workplace violence, and a performance by the Justice Singers.

A panel discussion, hosted at OCAD, included a General Electric (GE) Peterborough worker, an OHCOW representative, Janice Martell, a CUPE healthcare worker, two injured workers, and an OPSEU member talking about accreditation, and health & safety.

Join us and help us stand up for the rights of Injured Workers! For more information contact the UFCW Locals 175 & 633 Workers’ Compensation Department at workerscomp@ufcw175.com or at 1-800-267-1977.

 

Alert from the Office of the Worker Adviser

Letter of warning regarding use of social media: Read more
Check out another article on Social Media and how it’s shaping labour law.

WSIB Claims

If you think an accident, injury, illness or onset of pain is work-related you must follow these steps:

  • Report it to your employer. A delay in reporting may mean a denial of your claim.
  • Complete an Employer Incident Report. Ask for a copy. Tell a steward. List any witnesses.
  • Have the employer complete a Form 7 (Employer’s Report of Injury/Disease). It is your right to receive a copy of the Form 7.
  • Seek medical attention as soon as possible. If you cannot see your family doctor immediately or you don’t have a family doctor, you must go to a walk-in clinic or emergency room. A follow-up with your family doctor is necessary.
  • Report your injury to your family doctor and have him/her complete a Form 8 (Physician’s First Report). You must tell the treating medical practitioner that it is work related and explain the job duties performed. Walk-in clinics or the ER can also fill out a Form 8.
  • Inform a co-worker or witness.
  • KEEP COPIES OF ALL DOCUMENTATION!
  • Maintain your own file of all documents relating to your claim. This includes doctor’s notes, copies of forms and any correspondence from the WSIB, the employer or any other involved parties.

Remember: WSIB claims must be filed within six months of the initial incident. Claims filed after six months may only be accepted in exceptional cases.

You have the legal right to report any workplace accident or injury and cannot be told by anyone that you cannot file a claim.

You have the right to be treated by your own health care professional. This could be your family physician, chiropractor or dentist. You choose your initial health care professional when you accept treatment or emergency treatment.

You are not permitted to change to another health care professional without the WSIB’s approval.

If you have questions or need help, contact the UFCW Locals 175 & 633 Workers’ Compensation Department at 1-800-267-1977 or workerscomp@ufcw175.com.

WSIB Appeals

All timelines are estimates on how long the average file takes to complete the appeals process. Some may take longer than others at certain stages. Once again, please keep a copy of evidence and any relevant detailed notes of all documents relating to your claim.

DENIAL LETTER

To appeal a WSIB decision you must have a denial letter from the Board indicating that your claim, or part of your claim, has been denied and the reasons for that denial. The last paragraph of the denial letter will indicate a time limit of six months to appeal the decision.

To have a Local 175 Benefits Representative represent you in your appeal, please contact the Benefits Department at 1-800-267-1977 or workerscomp@ufcw175.com as soon as you receive your denial letter.

The Benefits Department will send you authorization forms and a waiver to sign and return along with your letter of denial.

OBJECTION LETTER

Your Benefits Representative will inform the WSIB that the Local will represent you in your appeal and submit a completed `Intent to Object` form.

Your claim file will be sent to the Access Section of the WSIB where they will copy your claim file and forward it to your Benefits Representative. If your file is sent to you, please contact the Benefits Department immediately.

The Access Section will inform your employer of your appeal and the employer will have the option of participating in the appeals process.

Upon receipt of your WSIB claim file, your Benefits Representative will review it and complete the Appeals Readiness form. The form is then submitted to your Adjudicator who will review your claim and either reverse their initial decision or send it on to the Appeals Services Division.

Appeals Services Division (ASD)

Files that have been registered in the ASD will be assigned to an Appeals Administrator who will review the Appeals Readiness form and all attached submissions. Appeals may be resolved either through written submissions or by an oral hearing.

Once a decision is made in writing by the ARO it is the final decision made regarding your claim at the WSIB level. If your appeal is denied, you may appeal to the Workplace Safety & Insurance Appeals Tribunal (WSIAT).

Please note, your Benefits Representative will try to have your appeal processed in a timely fashion, however, due to the backlog of claims at the WSIB, your appeal could take over one year to complete.

Locals 175 & 633 – Return to Work Policy

You can also download a copy of the Local Union’s Return to Work Policy

UFCW Locals 175 & 633 recognize, and are committed to, their responsibilities to Local Union members with disabilities. The Local Union developed a Return To Work Policy to support this commitment and this Policy now forms part of the operating procedure of the organization.

Locals 175 & 633 are committed to providing a safe and timely return to productive employment for members disabled through occupational or non-occupational injury or illness.

The Local Union’s Policy will assist members in achieving a timely, effective rehabilitation and a positive return to work while maintaining their personal dignity and financial stability.

This Policy will provide an effective process to:

  • Identify barriers;
  • Review the pre-injury job;
  • Review the pre-injury job with accommodation; and
  • Review alternate work with the employer.

This Policy is intended to promote effective Return To Work principles by ensuring:

  • Early intervention;
  • Ongoing communication; and
  • An offer of meaningful, sustainable, productive work consistent with the member’s functional abilities without risk of re-injury or risk to others.

Locals 175 & 633 are committed to ensuring that full participation in the Return To Work process will not disadvantage an injured worker or their co-workers. Through the cooperation of all involved parties, every effort will be made to resolve disagreements about the Return To Work through discussions with the Union, the member and the employer.

Participation in Return To Work will not preclude a member with a disability or any other member from receiving rights negotiated under their respective collective agreement.