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7. Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB)

The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (formerly the Workers' Compensation Board) was established in 1997 by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997, (WSIA). Under Part II of this Act, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) has a mandate to promote health and safety in workplaces and to reduce the occurrence of workplace injuries and occupational diseases.

The WSIB is directed by a multi-stakeholder Board of Directors. The multi-stakeholder structure reinforces one of the main principles underlying the Occupational Health and Safety Act: the importance of partnerships among the workplace parties in both fostering a commitment to and improving occupational health and safety.

The main functions of the WSIB are outlined in section 4(1) of the WSIA and summarized below.

Certification of Joint Health and Safety Committee Members

The WSIB is responsible for developing the standards that must be met in order for a joint committee member to become certified, for approving certification training programs, and for certifying persons who meet its standards [section 4(1) paragraphs 4 and 5 of the WSIA].

Education and Training

The WSIB has several areas of responsibility that relate to education and training. Under section 4(1) paragraph 3 of the WSIA, the WSIB is to educate employers, workers and other persons about occupational health and safety. As mentioned above, the WSIB has the authority to approve certification training programs. The WSIB can also set standards for and fund first aid training [section 4(1) paragraph 10 of the WSIA].

Health and Safety Training Centres, Clinics and Safety Associations

The WSIB establishes standards for the governance, function and operations of safety associations, training centres and clinics and has the authority to designate organizations that meet these standards. Designated organizations are eligible for financial assistance from the WSIB but must operate in accordance with the WSIB's standards. If a designated organization does not meet these standards, the WSIB can reduce its funding or assume control of its operations [sections 6 and 7 of the WSIA].

Employer Accreditation

The WSIB has the authority to develop standards for the accreditation of employers who adopt health and safety policies and operate successful health and safety programs and can accredit employers who meet these standards [section 4(1) paragraphs 6 and 7 of the WSIA].

Other Functions

Other functions of the WSIB are:

  • the funding of occupational health and safety research [section 4(1) paragraph 9 of the WSIA].
  • to advise the Minister of Labour about matters related to occupational health and safety that are referred to the board or brought to its attention [section 4(1) paragraph 11 of the WSIA].
  • to promote public awareness of occupational health and safety [section 4(1) paragraph 1 of the WSIA].

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