Examining trends in no-lost-time claims in Ontario, 1991-2006

Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Dr. Peter Smith
Institute for Work & Health

Between 1991 and 2006, the number of claims submitted to Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) for work-related injuries requiring time off work (lost-time claims) went down by approximately 46 per cent. Yet, over the same time period, work-related injuries that required health care, but not time off work (no-lost-time claims) only declined by 11 per cent. As a result, there are currently over twice as many no-lost-time claims reported to the WSIB as lost-time claims, with the money spent by the WSIB on health care related to the no-lost-time claims exceeding $20 million in 2000.

Unfortunately, we do not know if these diverging trends in no-lost-time claims and lost-time claims are the result of effective primary prevention efforts (i.e. less severe injuries occurring), better workplace accommodation (i.e. workers with injuries that previously required time off being able to return to work the day after injury), or claims management (i.e. particular workers being encouraged to report no-lost-time claims instead of lost-time claims, even though they require time off work).

In this presentation, Institute Scientist Dr. Peter Smith will review recently completed work examining trends in no-lost-time claims and lost-time claims in Ontario between 1991 and 2006. The results are based on administrative data combined with labour force survey estimates across different labour force subgroups (age, gender, industry and workplace size).

For a copy of the presentation, contact Peter Smith.