Across Canada, employers must report certain workplace injuries and incidents, both to their OHS enforcement agency and the workers’ comp board. But employers don’t always report the injuries and incidents they should. Why?
Some may not make such reports because they’re unsure of how and when the reporting requirements apply. Other employers may deliberately fail to report because a higher injury rate will usually result in higher workers’ comp premiums. In fact, some employers may lean on or even threaten workers if they report their injuries.
For example, a study by Manitoba’s WCB on workplace injury claim suppression found that there was significant under-claiming of workers’ comp benefits and that claim suppression was a material and germane factor in that under-claiming.
We recently asked what you thought about the nature of the underreporting of worker injuries:
- 64% said they thought it was a mixture of deliberate and unintentional
- 29% thought such underreporting was deliberate
- 7% thought it was unintentional.
To ensure that you properly report worker injuries, illnesses and safety incidents, you should understand the reporting requirements under your jurisdiction’s:
It’s also important that everyone in the workplace, including senior management and supervisors, understand that they can’t discourage workers from reporting their injuries and illness, such as by disciplining or threatening them. Such actions are illegal reprisals and barred under the OHS and workers’ comp laws. (See, Discipline & Reprisals Compliance Centre.)