“Workplace Safety Board still rewards dangerous employers: Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board still pays millions of dollars in rebates to companies at fault in workers’ deaths or injuries, a new report by the Ontario Federation of Labour says” Moira Welsh, David Bruser (Toronto Star, Nov. 24, 2014)
Article discusses the new report (“Rewarding offenders”) to be released today by the Ontario Federation of Labour. Prepared by IAVGO’s Joel Schwartz, the report reveals that shortcomings with the WSIB’s experience rating program have changed little since the Toronto Star published its investigative series in 2008 on handing out cash rewards (through premium rebates) to companies that had broken Ontario’s health and safety laws.
The 2104 report finds many companies convicted of workplace safety violations receiving large rebates in the years immediately following a worker’s death or serious injury – and in many cases substantially more than the company was fined. While then Premier Dalton McGuinty called the rebates an ’embarrassment’ and the WSIB chair said the problem would be promptly fixed. OFL president Sid Ryan calls the lack of action “basically giving the finger to injured workers“, while Schwartz notes claimed changes to the experience rating program are superficial because the board continues to base its premium rates on the costs related to employee accidents….