Who is covered by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 (WSIA)
Workers are covered by the WSIA. A “worker” includes anyone employed under a contract of service or apprenticeship with an employer that is required to have Workplace Safety and insurance Board (WSIB) coverage because its industry is included either in Schedule 1, Part I or in Schedule 2 of Ontario Regulation 175/98 (O. Reg. 175/98).
In cases where an employer has multiple business activities, and one or more business activities are subject to mandatory coverage while others are not, a worker who is employed in both mandatory and excluded business activities will be covered.
Temporary employment agency workers are also covered by the WSIA, and temporary employment agencies are required to have WSIB coverage for their workers even if the client employer is not.
Domestic workers who are directly hired and paid by private households to work more than 24 hours a week for one family are also covered under the WSIA. This includes nannies, babysitters, nursemaids, housekeepers, gardeners, cooks, companions, and handy persons.
Who can claim benefits under the WSIA
Workers or their dependents can claim WSIB benefits if the worker suffers an injury, disease or death that arose out of and in the course of employment, and the following three conditions are met:
- the worker’s employer is subject to compulsory coverage or has application coverage under the WSIA
- the individual is a worker under the WSIA (see above), and
- the injury happened in Ontario, or the worker qualifies under various out-of-province coverage rules.
By application coverage for industries or business activities not covered by the WSIA
There are 233 industries listed in Schedule 1, Part II of O. Reg. 175/98 that are not subject to mandatory WSIB coverage. These industries include banking, insurance, interior design, legal services, buying or selling real estate, membership organizations, personal care services, travel arrangement and reservation services, and personal physical fitness training services. Employers in Schedule 1, Part II industries may choose to apply for WSIB coverage (referred to as “by application” coverage) under Schedule 1, Part I. If their application is approved, they will be treated the same as Schedule 1, Part I employers that are required to have coverage.
Independent operators, sole proprietors, partners, and executive officers of a corporation who do not work in the construction industry are not automatically covered under the WSIA but may choose to apply for optional insurance.
How to find out if your business is covered
Detailed information about the coverage status of all Ontario industries and business activities is included in the WSIB’s Employer Classification Manual that is available on the WSIB’s website.