NEWS

We want to keep you informed of some initiatives that the WSIB is undertaking with respect to Health & Safety. As some of you know the WSIB began approaching a few Schedule 2 Employers earlier this year offering to conduct Workwell evaluations with an emphasis on the prevention of Noise Induced Hearing loss claims. To date we are not aware of any Schedule 2 firms that have actually agreed to participate in a Workwell evaluation with the WSIB. The WSIB is in the process of increasing their staff of Workwell evaluators in anticipation of conducting evaluations starting in 2017 with Schedule 1 employers and perhaps some Schedule 2 employers. The WSIB has indicated that the Workwell evaluations for 2017 will be quite different from those conducted some years ago. Any Workwell evaluations done now will be voluntary and there will be no surcharges issued if an organization does not do well on the evaluation.  The objective is to identify gaps in an employer’s Health & Safety program with the hope that this will lead the employer to take measures to reduce accident frequency and severity and enhance their RTW results. RTW is an area of particular interest to the WSIB with the new Workwell evaluations. If you would like more information on the WSIB’s Workwell Program then you could contact Mr. Martin Robert, Manager Workwell Program, Workplace Health & Safety Services Division at 416-344-3493 or martin_robert@wsib.on.ca.

The WSIB is also looking to develop a Health & Safety Index as a measure of leading Health & Safety indicators for the province of Ontario. The goal of the index is to:

  • “Assess the health and safety system’s success at improving outcomes for workers and employers;
  • Act as a call to action for system partners to improve performance
  • Support crucial health and safety conversations between partners; and
  • Potentially allow for pan-Canadian comparison.”

This Power Point presentation provides some more details on what the WSIB is looking to measure in surveys of people employed in Ontario. The plan is to survey 1,600 people each year. There will be weighting of the answers provided on topics related to “prevention, worker empowerment, workplace culture, enforcement and injuries”. This is a work in process and it is unclear when the WSIB will publish their first Health & Safety index results.

We will keep you informed of further information as it becomes available and should you have any questions please direct them to chris@sbci.org. Thank you.

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The Liberal Government has come out in favour of making substantive changes to the way the WSIB adjudicates claims for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) for first responders. Members of the Schedule 2 Employers’ Group Executive felt that it was important to raise some concerns with the Government with respect to their intended approach to the issues under review and to request a meeting with the Minister. Given the speed with which the Government seems to want to move forward with this issue, the S2EG Executive felt it was important to put together a submission as quickly as possible.

Attached is a copy of Bill 163 and our preliminary written submission to the Minister .

The Executive welcomes your feedback and suggestions as we attempt to arrange a meeting with the Minister and begin discussions with him and his staff.

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The WSIB has retained the services of Ernst & Young, Auditors to do a Value for Money Audit on WSIB Schedule 2 services and operations at the WSIB. The time frame for this audit is extremely short with a target date for a draft report at the end of August and a final report to the WSIB Board of Directors by early October. Ernst & Young will be contacting individual Schedule 2 Employers to schedule an interview or to participate in a survey. The Schedule 2 executive will be meeting with the auditors tomorrow to have some discussions and to answer their questions. The Schedule 2 executive is concerned that the audit is too rushed and that the auditors may not have received an adequate briefing on Schedule 2 and the issues. We will aim to provide the auditors with a better understanding of all the issues of concern to Schedule 2 employers. We also plan to provide them with more background documents and a paper to support the interests of Schedule 2 employers.

If you are asked to participate in an interview or to complete a survey please expect the issues to be quite technical and give thought as to who you would like to answer the questions on behalf of your organization. The following will give you some idea of the intended scope to the audit:

 “The WSIB is seeking to perform a VFMA on the Schedule 2 program that will evaluate the cost, efficiency, and effectiveness of services delivered to the Schedule 2 sector pertaining to the administration fee charged to Schedule 2 employers

Further objectives of the VFMA are:

  • To obtain recommendations to help ensure alignment within the context of WSIB’s rate setting and funding processes.
  •  A review of processes used:
    • To determine the administration fee and its allocation among Schedule 2 employers;
    • To estimate long-term liabilities;
    • To manage related funding risks; and
    • To measure and report on program performance.
  • A review of the policies and processes used to ensure that Schedule 2 employers, both collectively and individually, pay their “fair share” of WSIB’s administrative costs required under Section 85(1) of the Act. Considerations, in assessing “fair share”, may include applicable WSIB legislated obligations, enterprise transformation and project costs, and the practice of charging some employers little or no administration fee based on their claim costs.
  • An assessment of the methodology used to estimate Schedule 2 employers’ long-term liabilities, both collectively and individually, and the strategy and processes used to mitigate funding risks and secure liabilities. This may entail a comparison of funding risks between public and private sector employers, the management of these risks, and the use of letters of credit to secure long-term liabilities.In providing an audit opinion on the cost, efficiency and effectiveness of the services delivered to the Schedule 2 sector, the VFMA should include:
    • A review of how services delivered to Schedule 2 employers differ from Schedule 1;
    • Performance criteria used to evaluate delivery
    • Relevance and reliability of performance data;
    • The quality and timeliness of performance reporting including respective alignment with enterprise strategy.

    The Value for Money Audit should also include a comparison with similar programs in other Workers’ Compensation Boards with a focus on Canada examining the services provided and the approach to setting the related administrative fees.”

    If you have questions concerning the audit you may send an email to Laura Russell at the following address lrussell@complclaim.com or Chris James at the following address: chris@sbci.org. We will provide you with more information in the near future.