Discussion and analysis
The WSIB is one of the most comprehensive workplace injury and illness compensation benefit systems in North America. Between Schedule 1 and Schedule 2 employers, we cover 16 industries and businesses that are self-insured in Ontario. In 2018, we served more than 5.6 million employees, over 300,000 businesses, registered 254,000 claims, and issued $2.8 billion in benefit payments. The WSIB is committed to making sure that the insurance system for businesses and employees is sustainable and improving outcomes for people who are injured or ill at work.
Summary of performance for schedule 1
The WSIB’s integrated recovery and return-to-work approach continues to have positive outcomes. Over the past 10 years, the workforce covered by the WSIB has grown by 23 per cent, while the number of registered claims has increased by two per cent. The 2018 lost-time injury rate was 1.
Workplaces, people, and claims
Since 2009, the five industry sectors: services, health care, manufacturing, transportation, and construction sectors made up 80 per cent of allowed lost-time claims and people covered by the WSIB. During this time period, these sectors had an increase in the amount of people covered by the WSIB but the number of allowed lost-time claims has remained mostly the same.
Continued focus on high-impact claims
High-impact claims are a category of allowed lost-time claims that have a big impact on recovery and return-to-work time. These claims involve injuries to the lower back, shoulders, and fractures. These types of injuries usually have higher treatment costs and longer recovery times. Over the past five years, high-impact claims made up 41 per cent of all lost-time benefit payments, and 30 per cent of all lost-time claims.
Access to timely, quality health care is important to supporting recovery and return-to-work efforts for businesses and their employees. That is why we are expanding the network of specialized assessment and treatment services across Ontario for lower back and shoulder injuries. These changes to our health care approaches have improved our overall case management of high-impact claims. The percentage of high-impact claims in Schedule 1 claims have gone down slightly in the past five years.
Recovery and return-to-work outcomes
The average number of days lost within one month after an injury or illness has stayed the same in recent years. Compared to 2017, in 2018 the percentage of injured or ill people receiving loss-of-earning benefits at three months went up to 14 per cent and increased to nine per cent at six months. In 2017 and 2018 benefit payments increased slightly.
Our emphasis on an integrated approach to recovery and return-to-work, including specialized medical assessments and treatment services has helped improve our return-to-work outcomes. Our return-to-work program is having positive results, and in 2018, 94 per cent of injured and ill people returned to work after finishing their plan compared to 88 per cent in 2017.
In 2018, our return-to-work and case management staff continued to focus on return-to-work and building case-specific plans for employees and businesses early on in the claim. We want to support injured and ill people to return to productive and safe work. For businesses, this means less disruption to their workforce because they will continue to have an experienced and productive employee at work. We are proud of the improvements we’ve achieved with our improved return-to-work and recovery outcomes.
The WSIB continues to focus on service quality and timeliness. We have an ongoing commitment to be sustainable, transparent, and improve our systems so that we can provide effective and efficient service to Ontarians.