A worker who delayed reporting an alleged workplace
accident has claimed that his employer discouraged employees from
reporting, but the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals
Tribunal has rejected that claim. The decision illustrates the
importance of maintaining a practice of promptly reporting
accidents to the WSIB.
The worker worked with a roofing company. He filed a claim
with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board on April 3, 2008
alleging that he was injured in a slip-and-fall accident at work
three months earlier. He claimed that he had told his
supervisor who "made light" of the situation and laughed
Interestingly, the worker claimed that reporting of accidents
and filing of WSIB claims was discouraged in the roofing
industry, and that he feared losing his job if he filed a WSIB
claim. He said that the failure of his employer to
acknowledge that his injuries were work-related was the result of
its general practice of discouraging reporting of workplace
The WSIB had opened an investigation into the worker's
allegations that his employer discouraged accident reporting, but
the investigation was closed with no action taken.
The WSIAT decided:
". . . I cannot conclude on a balance of probabilities that
the employer discouraged employees from reporting work-related
accidents. At best, the evidence provided by the witnesses
established that roofing is a physically demanding line of work and
workers frequently sustain a variety of bumps, bruises, cuts and
burns. I interpret the evidence of the witnesses to suggest
that workers would normally just 'shake these injuries off'
and would not report them as WSIB matters. . . . The
employer's witnesses were consistent in their testimony that if
there was a serious enough injury, they would report it to their
foreman, who would report it to the supervisor, who would report it
to the owner. The evidence fails to satisfy me, on a balance
of probabilities that workers were at risk of losing their jobs if
they filed a WSIB claim."
Given the evidence of the employer's practice of reporting
accidents, and in light of the fact that the worker had not sought
medical attention on the day of the alleged accident and that it
was not until two months later that his physicians became aware of
the alleged accident, the worker's claim for WSIB benefits was
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