Stronger Safety Standards For Construction Workers
McGuinty Government Plans To Make Workers’ Compensation Coverage Mandatory
Ontario is planning to introduce legislation that would make workers' compensation coverage mandatory for individuals working in the construction industry who are currently not covered.
The proposed legislation would make it mandatory to extend benefits and services contained in the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 (WSIA) for independent operators in construction and some other individuals in the construction industry who are currently not covered.
The intent of the Government is that the proposed amendments would come into effect 3 years following Royal Assent if passed by the Legislature. This 3-year period would enable the WSIB to develop systems to support the proposed changes.
Individuals would have access to financial compensation for lost earnings, coverage for certain health care costs, and job retraining services they are currently not entitled to unless they voluntarily register with the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) for optional coverage.
If the proposed amendments are passed, the WSIB would work with construction stakeholders to develop communication about the proposed extension of mandatory coverage before the proposed amendments came into force.
- The proposed legislation would extend WSIA coverage to approximately 90,000 individuals in the construction industry currently not subject to mandatory coverage.
“Our proposed legislation will contribute to our goal of making Ontario’s workplaces the safest in the world. More individuals in construction would have access to health and safety education and training resources.”