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Occupational diseases

Physicians play a key role in the prevention and early recognition of occupational diseases. By recognizing occupational disease early, you can help

  • Ensure a better outcome for your patient
  • Allow your patient and survivors access to WSIB benefits not provided by OHIP, including compensation for lost income and other health care benefits
  • Alert the employer and your patient's coworkers of a potentially unhealthy work environment.

Fee paid by the WSIB to physicians for completing Health Practitioner's Report (Form 8): $33.00

Did you know: WSIB funds research into occupational disease?

To learn about this research or about grants available, see our WSIB Research Program.

What should you do if you suspect your patient has a disease resulting from a workplace health hazard?

Fill out a Health Practitioners Report (Form 8). We need this form to make a decision on your patient's claim. You can order the form by calling us at 1-800-387-0750. Or you can download and fill out the Health Practitioner's Report (Form 8).

Designated substances for occupational disease

A designated substance is a biological, chemical, or physical agent, or any combination of these, to which the exposure of a worker is prohibited, regulated, restricted, limited or controlled. There are 12 designated substance regulations covering 11 designated substances under the Occupational Health and Safety Act:

  • Acrylonitrile
  • Arsenic
  • Asbestos
  • Benzene
  • Coke oven emissions
  • Ethylene Oxide
  • Isocyanates
  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Silica
  • Vinyl Chloride

Occupational disease report approved

The Final Report of the Chair of the Occupational Disease Advisory Panel has been approved by the WSIB Board of Directors for implementation.

Contact information for occupational diseases

If, because of an exposure to a designated substance, such as silica, you have advised a patient that he is unfit for work in that environment, or fit with limitations, you are required under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act's Designated Substance Regulations to contact:

Dr. Leon Genesove,
Provincial Physician,
Ontario Ministry of Labour
Occupational Health and Safety Branch
400 University Ave.
Toronto, ON M7A 1T7

Telephone: 416-235-5235

and

the WSIB Occupational Disease Industry Sector Manager for the industry sector appropriate to your patient.

If one of your patients has been exposed to silica, please refer to the Code for Medical Surveillance of Silica Exposed Workers, contained within the Occupational Health and Safety Act's Regulation Respecting Silica, for additional information on the legislated role of physicians.

Code for Medical Surveillance of Designated Substances

The Occupational Health and Safety Act publishes a Code for Medical Surveillance for each designated substance. You are required by law to follow the appropriate code when treating workers exposed to a designated substance.

Questions about a claim for one of your patients?

All occupational disease claims are handled centrally within the WSIB's Occupational Disease and Survivor Benefits (OD&SB) Program. This program is divided into industry sectors to provide more specialized service.

Contact the Occupational Disease Industry Sector Manager for the sector your patient works in.

General questions about occupational disease claims?

Just call our General Inquiry Line:

Toronto: 416-344-1000

Toll-free: 1-800-387-0750

Occupational disease benefits for workers and their families

A worker with an occupational disease receives the same benefits as other injured workers. These include:

  • Payment for loss of earnings or permanent impairment
  • Coverage for health care costs
  • Survivor benefits (if a worker dies as a result of a workplace injury or illness)

Workers with an occupational disease have needs that differ from other injured workers. Therefore, their claims go to our Occupational Disease and Survivor Benefits (OD&SB) Program.

The OD&SB program has:

  • Specially trained teams of adjudicators, nurse case managers, occupational medicine consultants, and occupational hygienists, who understand how occupational diseases can occur
  • Industry-specific teams who understand your work environment

Specialized services and counselling for workers and families affected by a serious occupational disease.

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