Skip to main content
  • Approval Dates:  September 2011
  • Approved by:  Vice President, Administration and Finance
  • Jurisdiction:  Vice President, Administration and Finance, Integrated Risk Management (IRM)

1.    Introduction

Provisions within the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, Occupational Health and Safety Act, and human rights and employment legislation, articulate a diverse set of rights, responsibilities and accountability for prevention and remedial care, for all individuals within the workplace.

In meeting the intent of these provisions, in a manner consistent with enhancing Ryerson’s mission and values, the University has established a systems approach to integrating all practices, procedures and programs relating to managing and continuously improving prevention and remedial care commitments and obligations. 

2.    Purpose

By establishing a management system and guide to the WSIB, illness and disability management process, the objectives of the policy are to:

  1. promote a culture of accident and illness prevention and accountability;
  2. ensure the optimum conditions for supporting early intervention, expedient return to work and accommodation; and
  3. minimize the costs associated with illness, WSIB and disability management.

3.    Policy Statement

Sustaining a culture of prevention, enhanced well-being and recovery is the responsibility of all employees, with the objective of strengthening our individual and collective capacity to consistently support the University mission. This shall be achieved through the establishment, integration and maintenance of prevention, accident, illness and disability management standards, programs, procedures and best practices. To ensure the integrity of this managed system of care, its performance shall be routinely reviewed for continuous improvements.

4.    Principles

The following principles are to guide the implementation of the policy statement:

  1. The organizational framework for due diligence is the internal responsibility system, whereby every employee of the University is legally responsible for identifying and seeking to resolve conditions which may compromise health and safety. In defining this framework, the University has articulated specific responsibilities, accountabilities and authority for the Board of Governors, the Executive Group, senior administrators, faculty, instructors, and academic and administrative support staff within University policy (EH&S Management System).
  2. The University is committed to enhancing the fundamental principles underlying the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act. With prevention as the core objective, these principles are self-reliance (the internal responsibility system), co-operation and communication.

In formulating due diligence practices and initiatives, Ryerson is committed to the adoption of best practices and current research findings which identify organizational characteristics, practices and procedures to enhance prevention, disability management and recovery. Standards set out in legislation will be treated as the minimal standards to achieve.

Education, training, orientation and communication shall be an integral part of all WSIB and disability management programs.

The University is committed to the provision of comprehensive referral services, through the University Health Centre, to enhance personal wellness.

The goal of the WSIB and disability management system is to achieve a work related incident rate of zero.

5.    Scope                                                       

The policy applies to all employees of Ryerson University, including faculty, instructors, support staff, senior administrators, the executive group and other individuals as deemed by the WSIB to be in an employment relationship with the University.

6.    Definitions

Accident

An accident includes:

  • a willful and intentional act, not being the act of the worker;
  • a chance event occasioned by a physical or natural cause, and;
  • a disablement arising out of and in the course of employment.

Critical Injury          

A critical injury is defined as an accident which results in an injury of a serious nature that:                                           

a)   places life in jeopardy;

b)   produces unconsciousness;

c)   results in substantial loss of blood;

d)   involves the fracture of a leg or arm;

e)   involves the amputation of a leg, arm, hand or foot;

f)   consists of burns to a major portion of the body;

g)   causes the loss of sight in an eye.

IRS

The philosophical approach to health and safety, which underlies the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act, whereby responsibility for health and safety is shared by all parties in the workplace.  

Near-miss

An incident having potential to but not resulting in injury or property damage.

Occupational Disease

An illness or disease which was brought on or caused by exposure in the workplace to a physical, chemical, or biological agent to the extent that the health of a worker is impaired.

Supervisor

A supervisor is an individual having authority over a worker or an activity.

Worker

A worker includes a person who has entered into or is employed under a contract of service or apprenticeship, written or oral, express or implied, manual labor or otherwise and receives a T4 income form from Ryerson.

7.    Internal Responsibility System (IRS)

The responsibility for prevention is shared by all employees of Ryerson University, including faculty, instructors, academic and administrative support staff, senior administrators and the executive group.

Roles and Responsibilities

The Executive Group

The executive are responsible for ensuring the development, implementation and maintenance of a WSIB and disability management system and supporting internal responsibility system.

Deans and Senior Directors

Senior administrators are responsible for ensuring that WSIB and disability management system programs are implemented and reviewed annually, within their respective areas.

Chairs, Academic Directors and Managers

As department heads, Chairs, Academic Directors and Managers are responsible for implementing WSIB management programs, including administering return to work programs, managing absenteeism, establishing accident/illness prevention initiatives, evaluating program performance and responding to deficiencies, ensuring adequate training, competent supervision and implementation of policy requirements.

Supervisory Staff, Faculty as Supervisors and Principal Investigators

All employees who supervise staff or an activity are responsible for taking an active role in protecting and promoting the health and safety of persons under their direction or working within an area or for an activity under their direction.

They are responsible for fulfilling the requirements of WSIB and disability management system programs consistent with meeting the intent of the WSIB and disability management policy.  This includes implementing return to work, absenteeism management, training and prevention programs, evaluating program performance, responding to deficiencies, ensuring competent supervision and instruction and implementation of policy requirements.

All Employees

All employees are responsible for:

a)    taking an active role in fulfilling the requirements of all programs under the WSIB and disability management system with a view to supporting the intent of the policy;

b)    complying with the procedures and practices set out in the WSIB and disability management system; and

c)    reporting to their immediate supervisor any observed hazards or lapses in the functioning of a WSIB and disability management program.

The Department of Integrated Risk Management (IRM)

The Department is responsible for developing and directing the accident prevention program, collecting and analyzing WSIB claim profile data, and for auditing the performance of the WSIB and Disability Management Policy.

The Department of Human Resources

Human Resources develops, administers and coordinates the implementation of the injury and illness and absenteeism management, and return to work programs.  This includes external reporting, monitoring claim activity, internal communications, coordinating the internal responsibility system, liaison with external service providers, confirming claim validity, and managing the appeals process.

The WSIB and Disability Management Review Committee

The WSIB and Disability Management Committee is responsible for monitoring the performance of the WSIB and Disability Management policy and system, and recommencing amendments and continuous improvements.  The committee shall be represented by the Executive Directors of Human Resources and Financial Services, the Director of the Department of Integrated Risk Management (IRM), Directors of Campus Facilities & Sustainability and University Business Services and the Manager of Pensions and Benefits.

8.    Accountability

Through the University injury and illness management program, information on the profile of WSIB claims and absenteeism of each department will be communicated to all Deans and Senior Directors by the Department of Integrated Risk Management (IRM) and the Human Resources Department.  The information, designed to promote awareness of health, safety and wellness, will assist the department head in planning prevention initiatives and priorities. Reference should be made to section 12 for financial related accountability.

9.    Programs and Procedures

9.1    Prevention Program

University policy EH&S Management System sets the framework for accident and illness prevention.  The supporting programs are developed by the Department of Integrated Risk Management (IRM) which periodically issues university wide performance standards, related policies and procedures.

The Program covers the following elements:

Accident/Incident Investigation

All accidents and incidents must be documented and investigated by the supervisor to determine root cause and subsequent preventative action.  The department safety officer and the Department of Integrated Risk Management (IRM) are available to assist in this process. These findings must be recorded on the university accident/ incident investigation report forms and submitted to the Department of Integrated Risk Management (IRM) within 3 days following the occurrence.

Job Safety Analysis

Where deemed necessary by the Department of Integrated Risk Management (IRM) and Human Resources, job safety analysis of specific positions will be conducted by the supervisor.  The objective of the analysis will be to ensure that accommodation needs and health and safety measures are in place to avoid risk.

Risk Assessments

Risk assessments must be conducted for any proposed research activity, renovation/ construction projects and any academic activity involving the use of hazardous substances, equipment or process or conducted in an area where other risk factors exist. Risk assessment forms must be completed by the principal investigator, project supervisor or faculty member supervising the activity.  These forms which detail required control measures must be signed by the appropriate department head, and the Office of Research Services in the case of independent principal investigators, who are responsible for ensuring the implementation of these measures.

Hazardous Conditions Reporting

Every employee has a legal obligation to report any hazardous condition within the workplace.  These concerns must be reported immediately to his or her supervisor.  The supervisor must respond to the report by initiating corrective measures.

Pre-placement Screening

Based on the results of job safety analyses, the Human Resources department, in consultation with the Department of Integrated Risk Management (IRM), will identify which positions require an incumbent pre-placement screening.

9.2    Injury/Illness Management Program

Initial Reporting

Critical Injuries

Accidents resulting in a critical injury must be reported immediately to Security and Emergency Services and the Department of Integrated Risk Management (IRM)

Accident/Incidents

All accidents, incidents and near-misses must be reported immediately to the supervisor and the Human Resources department.  The internal accident/incident investigation form, completed by the supervisor, must be forwarded to the department head, the Department of Integrated Risk Management (IRM) and Security and the Human Resources department within three days of the occurrence.

WSIB Claims

Employee Responsibilities

An injured employee should seek immediate first aid or health care treatment following a workplace accident.

The employee has the obligation to report to his/her supervisor any work-related injury or the possible onset of a work-related disease/condition as soon as possible after the workplace accident or knowledge of the onset of occupational disease.

The employee is required to complete and promptly return all Ryerson and WSIB requested forms, including but not limited to the Worker’s Report of Injury/Disease (Form 6), the Functional Abilities Form (FAF), and the Medical Release Forms.

Supervisor/Department Responsibilities

Where a work-related accident results in personal injury to the worker, the supervisor must ensure that the worker receives immediate emergency medical care, first aid or health care treatment.  The supervisor should record first aid attention given.  If necessary, the supervisor is responsible to procure and pay for transportation to a medical facility or the worker’s home where appropriate.

Within three calendar days after finding out about a work-related injury or onset of occupational disease, the employee’s supervisor must complete the WSIB Employer’s Report of Injury/Disease (Form 7). The Form 7 must be delivered to Human Resources within three working days after finding out about the work-related injury or onset of occupational disease, with a copy forwarded to the department head. 

In the event that the injured employee is unable to report to work following the day of the injury, the supervisor must immediately advise Human Resources.

The supervisor must also complete the Ryerson internal accident/incident investigation form and forward it to the Department of Integrated Risk Management (with a copy forwarded to the department head), within three working days of the occurrence of the workplace accident/incident

Human Resources Responsibilities

The Human Resources Department must complete the payroll portion of the Employer’s Report of Injury/Disease (Form 7) and must forward the Form 7 to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) immediately upon receipt. The Form 7 must be received by the WSIB within 3 working days after the University has received notice of the work-related injury or occupational disease.  The Human Resources Department will remove the worker from active payroll (after 22 working days for CUPE 233 employees) and forward a copy of the Form 7 to the Department of Integrated Risk Management (IRM).                   

Illness & Disability

Every employee has the obligation to report to his/her supervisor when unable to attend to his/her normal duties or responsibilities as a result of illness or disability, and may be required to submit verification of the illness or disability signed by a qualified health/medical practitioner.

The employee’s supervisor is required to forward any verification of illness to Human Resources.

Human Resources will notify the Long Term Disability (LTD) carrier of a possible disability claim and coordinate the LTD process.   

Claims Management                                    

Workplace Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB)

Employee Responsibilities

If the treating health/medical practitioner has authorized the employee to be away from work as a result of the work-related injury or occupational disease, the employee should obtain a medical certificate and forward to his/her supervisor.  The employee should advise his/her supervisor of the expected duration of illness, maintaining contact with the supervisor throughout his/her recovery. 

In consultation with his/her health/medical practitioner, and in co-operation with the University, the employee has an obligation and must make every reasonable effort for an early and safe return to work.  The goal of early and safe return to work, is to quickly return to appropriate employment at little or no loss of earnings.  Appropriate employment is work that is safe and within the employee’s physical capabilities and skill set. 

The employee must immediately report any change in status to both his/her supervisor and the WSIB.     

Supervisor/Department Responsibilities

In the event that the injured employee is unable to report to work following the day of the injury, the supervisor must immediately advise Human Resources.  The supervisor should obtain from the employee, a certificate signed by the treating health/medical practitioner and forward a copy to Human Resources upon receipt.  The supervisor should maintain weekly contact with the injured/ ill employee, determining his/her general fitness for work and expected return-to-work date, ensuring that detailed and accurate records of events surrounding employee absence are recorded and that Human Resources is kept advised of the employee’s progress/condition.

In consultation with Human Resources, and in co-operation with the employee, the supervisor must make every reasonable effort to identify and arrange an early and safe return to work for the employee and provide appropriate accommodation where necessary.  The goal of early and safe return to work, is to quickly return the employee to appropriate employment at little or no lost earnings.  Appropriate employment is work that is safe and within the employee’s physical capabilities and skill set.

The nature and details of the employee’s return to work and accommodation should be outlined in a detailed letter by the supervisor to the employee (a return to work plan).  The supervisor should meet with the returning employee to review the return to work plan, review any concerns the employee may have and obtain the employee’s agreement to adhere to the plan.  A copy of the return to work plan should be provided to Human Resources.  Upon an employee’s return to work, the supervisor should keep Human Resources advised of the employee’s progress and of changes in the employee’s work status.

Human Resources Responsibilities

Human Resources is responsible for providing advice and consultation to the supervisors about general WSI Act requirements and specific WSIB issues, and will serve as liaison between management, the employee and the WSIB as needed.                  

 Upon notification from the department/supervisor that an employee is unable to report to work as a result of workplace injury or occupational disease, Human Resources must immediately remove the employee from active payroll and place the employee on WSIB Leave.  Employees belonging to CUPE Unit 233 shall remain on pay for the first 22 days of WSIB Leave and shall be removed from active payroll thereafter.  All Employees are compensated for full wages for the day of the injury.  In the event that an employee is unable to be removed from pay on the day following injury due to the timing of payroll processing or other reasons, the employee’s future pay will be adjusted to reflect the time lost due to WSIB Leave. Human Resources will also re-activate and/or adjust payroll upon an employee’s full or partial return to work.

Human Resources will forward to the employee all required documentation such as the Functional Abilities Form (FAF) and/or the Medical Release Forms and ensure that proper medical documentation and releases are received.

In consultation with Ryerson’s Medical Designate and the WSIB, and in co-operation with the employee and supervisor, Human Resources will assist with the identification and arrangement of an early and safe return to work for the employee and assist with identifying appropriate accommodation where necessary.  The goal of early and safe return-to-work, is to quickly return the employee to appropriate employment at little or no loss of earnings.  Appropriate employment is work that is safe and within the employee’s physical capabilities and skill set.  The HR Department will assist the supervisor in the development of a return to work plan - a letter outlining the nature and details of an employee’s return to work and accommodation.  A copy of the return to work plan will be forwarded to the WSIB by the Human Resources department. 

During an approved WSIB Leave, an employee’s benefits will continue for a period of up to 1 year.  Upon returning from a WSIB Leave, Human Resources will provide the employee with the option to purchase his/her pensionable service while on WSIB leave.

10.  Absenteeism Management

10.1     Duty to Accommodate

The University is committed to accommodating employees, and applicants for positions, with disabilities, within the spirit of, and under applicable legislation, collective agreements and University policy.

Each person with a disability will be considered individually in order to determine appropriate accommodation, and their needs will be accommodated in a manner that most respects the person’s dignity, privacy, comfort, autonomy and self esteem, up to the point where the accommodation creates an undue hardship on the University.

10.2     Return to Work

The line manager is responsible for addressing absences and return to work issues. Human Resources Advisors should be consulted immediately in the case of a workplace accident and in other cases of lengthy absences, e.g. over 5 working days, to initiate the return to work process.

The Advisor contacts employees to request more detailed medical information and provides consent forms. The line manager should continue to maintain contact with the employee at least weekly.

The Human Resources Advisor will advise employees to return all completed medical information directly to the Ryerson Physician. The University’s medical designate will review the information, and advise the HR Advisor of the assessment. The HR Advisor will inform the line manager.

The assessment may indicate the following:

  • the potential for modified work.
  • the medical information substantiates continued absence from work. There may also be an indication of a time frame for return to work.
  • the medical information does not substantiate continued absence from work or a modified work requirement. In such cases employees will be informed that their sick pay will be suspended until such time as medical information is provided that will substantiate or support disability.

Long Term Disability

An employee returning to work from long term disability presents a unique staffing challenge to a department. As each situation is unique, there is no standard way of handling an employee returning to work.

There are four possible scenarios that can happen when an employee is deemed to be able to return to work:

  1. The employee returns to his or her pre-disability position.
  2. The employee returns to another position of equal commensurate value.
  3. The employee returns to a lesser position due to restrictions.
  4. There is no position available to the employee.

Human Resources Advisors should be consulted to provide advice and assistance in determining an appropriate course of action.

Where an employee is on Long Term Disability, departments may fill the temporary vacancy on a term basis for up to two year for administrative positions, and for up to three years for RFA positions from the date of the employee being approved for LTD.   Before filling positions permanently, Human Resources must be consulted.

Workplace Safety and Insurance

Under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, both the University and its employees are responsible for facilitating the goal of early and safe return to work for employees who have been injured on the job.

The University, primarily through the line manager, is responsible for:

  1. contacting the employee as soon as possible after the injury;  
  2. maintaining communication throughout his or her recovery and return to work;
  3. re-employing the employee (The WSI Act requires re-employment if the employee has been employed continuously for one year. Where an employee is on WSIB status and the injury occurred after January 2, 1990, departments may normally fill the temporary vacancy on  a term basis for up to two years from the date of the employee being approved.);
  4. attempting to provide appropriate employment. Appropriate employment is work that the employee has skills for and is safe and within the employee’s physical capabilities;
  5. providing the WSIB with any information requested about the worker's return to work; and
  6. cooperating with the employee and the WSIB in the Early Safe Return to Work process.

The Employee is responsible for:

  1. obtaining proper medical treatment;
  2. contacting their line manager as soon as possible after the injury;
  3. maintaining communication throughout their recovery and return to work;
  4. assisting in identifying appropriate employment; and
  5. providing the WSIB with any information requested about progress in returning to work; and
  6. cooperating in the Early and Safe Return to Work process.

10.3     Modified Work

The key to any successful Absence Management Program is the ability to accommodate an employee’s re-entry into the workforce by accommodating various restrictions and limitations set out by the employee’s physician. Modified work/rehabilitation opportunities can be identified at any stage of the employee’s illness.

Consultations to establish a modified work plan/arrangement would normally involve:

  1. Short Term Disability - Human Resources Advisor, Benefits Advisor, line manager, Ryerson medical designate and the employee’s physician.
  2. Long Term Disability - Human Resources Advisor, Benefits Advisor, line manager, insurance Company representative and the employee’s physician.
  3. WSI status - Human Resources Advisor, Benefits Advisor, line manager, WSIB representative and the employee’s physician.

Procedures and specific plans/arrangements for modified work would have to be consistent with accommodation requirements established under the Human Rights Code, and university collective agreements and policies.

11.  Financial Accountability

11.1    Departmental

Late filing charges and penalties, issued by the WSIB for late or non-reporting of work related accidents, will be transferred to the individual department where the supervisor failed to comply with University policy and procedures as outlined in this document.

Individual departments and principle investigators are responsible for providing all required personal protective equipment, safety devices and ergonomic equipment as outlined in applicable legislation and University policy.

11.2    Individual

Any employee failing to report a work related injury to their supervisor may forfeit their right to receive WSIB claims compensation. The cost of any damage to property as a result of a blatant disregard of policy may be charged to the individual.

12.    Jurisdiction

Policy administration shall be under the jurisdiction of the VP Administration and Finance. The performance of the policy shall be evaluated annually by the WSIB, Illness and Disability Management Committee.