The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board is committed to the protection of the personal information that you provide to us. Personal information is collected under authority of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act to administer and enforce the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act,1997.
The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act provides for:
- A right of public access to general records relating to the activities of government
- Privacy protection of personal information held by government institutions and the right of individuals to request access to their own personal information.
Protecting the confidentiality of personal information is a shared responsibility. Through the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, the WSIB Chair, as head of the agency, is accountable for the personal information in the WSIB’s custody or control. As employees of the WSIB all employees are bound by the same accountability. The WSIB Code of Business Ethics & Behaviour and Conflict of Interest policies reinforce the responsibility of employees for protecting the confidentiality of personal information. Contracted service providers and vendors are bound to confidentiality by contract. The WSIB’s accountability for the management of personal information is supported by policies, procedures, education and awareness programs and ongoing privacy reviews. The WSIB’s “Privacy Office” is responsible for advice, guidance and oversight of the organization’s access and privacy requirements.
2. Purpose of Collection:
WSIB collects personal information to use in the administration of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act. We do this to accomplish the following purposes in a financially responsible and accountable manner:
- To promote health and safety in the workplaces
- To prevent and reduce workplace injuries and occupational diseases
- To help with the return to work and recovery of workers who sustain personal injury or occupational disease that occur during the course of their work
- To facilitate the re-entry into the labour market of workers, spouses and same sex partners of deceased workers
- To provide compensation and other benefits to workers and to survivors of deceased workers.
3. Limiting Collection:
WSIB limits the collection of personal information to what is required to fulfill the authorized purposes of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, and states the reason for collecting the information at the time of collection.
4. Notice and Consent:
The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act permits us to collect, use and disclose personal information necessary to administer the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act. At the time of collection a notice is provided containing information regarding the:
- legal authority for the collection
- principal purpose(s) for which the personal information is intended to be used
- title, business address, and business telephone number of an individual who can answer your questions about the collection.
The Workers Report of Injury or Illness (Form 6) provides the notice of collection to workers claiming benefits under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act. A more detailed notice is provided in the WSIB Privacy Statement for Workers. Where personal information is collected through an electronic channel, an electronic notice of collection is provided to the subscriber of the service.
The Workplace Safety and Insurance Act authorizes the WSIB to request medical information from health care providers, hospitals, or health care facilities providing health care to a worker claiming benefits without consent.
There may be times, such as in a decision letter, or a Non-Economic Loss (NEL) medical assessment, where confidential information including personal health information related to a worker’s claim may be disclosed to their employer without your consent. This is covered under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act and the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
There are additional limited case specific situations where consent is required for the collection, use and/or disclosure of personal information. Injured workers must provide consent to allow health care practitioners to disclose functional abilities information directly to an employer when making a claim for benefits. Prior to the WSIB conducting individual surveys, WSIB or a contracted third party will make contact to obtain permission for participation in the survey.
5. Limiting Use, Disclosure & Retention:
WSIB uses and discloses personal information only for the purposes for which it was collected, or as required or permitted by law. WSIB keeps personal information only as long as necessary to comply with legislative or business requirements.
WSIB makes reasonable efforts to keep personal information as accurate, and complete as possible to be used for the purposes it was collected. WSIB will amend records where appropriate to ensure the accuracy of personal information.
WSIB makes every effort to ensure that our security measures protect against loss, theft, unauthorized access, disclosure, use, or modifications of information. Such measures vary depending on the sensitivity of the information, amount, format, nature and storage of the information. The WSIB uses physical, organizational, technical and contractual measures to safeguard the information entrusted to it. Claim files are an example of sensitive information guarded in this way. Procedures are in place to authenticate individuals requesting confidential information.
WSIB provides easy access to information about its policies and practices relating to the management of personal information.
- WSIB publishes its Operational Policy Manual and posts it on the WSIB web site. Specific policies on confidentiality are included in the manual
- A Privacy Statement for Workers is available on the WSIB web site at www.wsib.on.ca under the privacy link on the bottom of any page, or you can get a copy by calling 1-800–387-0750
- The WSIB Code of Business Ethics & Behaviour is also available at www.wsib.on.ca
- Additional resources and information are provided on the privacy page of the WSIB web site
- WSIB makes available hard copy resources and general information for external stakeholders
- A Directory of Records listing of all personal information under the control of the WSIB, and the address of the WSIB Freedom of Information Coordinator, is available on the Ontario Government Access and Privacy web site.
9. Individual Access:
Under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, both workers and their employer have an interest in a claim and have similar rights to receive fair and equal treatment. When either party objects to a decision, both the worker and their employer can obtain a copy of the relevant claim file documents to assist them in the appeal process at no charge. Before an employer receives the relevant claim file documents, workers have 21 days to object to the release of any health care information not relevant to the adjudication of the claim. Employers have a duty to keep the information received from the WSIB confidential.
Workers can get a copy of their claim file at no charge by writing to their decision maker and using the Worker Request for Copy of Claim file form (PDF). It is available on our website or by calling the WSIB’s General Enquiry. Requests should be directed to your decision maker. All requests must be in writing and a separate form must be submitted for each claim where information is requested. If you have problems receiving a copy of your claim file, please contact Business Services through WSIB’s General Enquiry phone number.
If you have previously received a copy of a claim file, you will receive updates that have been added to the file from the date of your last request. Please provide your current address when you make a request and if the address you provide is different from the one on file, we will update our records for you.
Under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, individuals have the right to request access to government records and their own personal information. A $5.00 cheque made payable to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board is required. The "Request Form" assists individuals in making this request and should be directed with your payment to the WSIB Freedom of Information Coordinator in the WSIB Privacy Office. In addition to the $5.00, other fees may be charged as required by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. An estimate will be provided where fees are expected to be over $25.00. Requests will be responded to within 30 calendar days from date of receipt, or within any approved extended time limit. Decisions on access to records and fee estimates can be appealed to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario.
10. Challenging Compliance:
WSIB investigates all challenges regarding the collection, use or disclosure of personal information. If you are not satisfied with the response from our business areas, please contact the WSIB Privacy Office.
Workplace Safety and Insurance Board
200 Front Street, West,
Toronto, Ontario, M5V 3J1
General Enquiry: 416-344-1000
Toll free: 1-800-387-0750
Privacy Office: 416-344-5323
If we are still unable to resolve your concerns about how your personal information has been handled, you may contact the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario.
When visiting our website or submitting information through our electronic channels
Collection, Use, and Disclosure of Personal Information
Visiting our website does not identify you in any way. Our web servers collect domain names and not the e-mail addresses of visitors to our site. We use information like, the number of visits, the average time spent on the site, pages viewed, etc., to measure the effectiveness of our site, improve its content, and be more responsive to your needs. This statistical collection of non-identifiable information may be used by WSIB or be provided to others for WSIB marketing, advertising, or research purposes.
If you make a specific request through our website, we may use your personal information to respond to your request.
Cookies and IP Addresses
A cookie is a piece of information that a site transfers to an individual's computer. A cookie is generally used to enhance your browsing experience. There are two types of cookies: persistent cookies and session cookies. WSIB may use one or both types of cookies. Persistent cookies are stored on a computer's hard drive where they remain resident until they are either deleted or they reach a predetermined expiry date. Persistent cookies are most commonly used to provide users with a customized experience by recording preferences. Session cookies do not permanently record data and they are not stored on a computer's hard drive. Rather, session cookies are stored in memory and are only available during an active session. Once the session ends the cookie disappears. Session cookies are used primarily for technical reasons to provide for seamless navigation.
Further information on cookies can be located at the website of the Information Privacy Commissioner of Ontario: If you wanted to know...What to do about Cookies
Certain areas of the website employ Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption technology and other resources to enhance data privacy and help prevent loss, misuse or alteration of the information that is provided to us through your use of those systems. When you are in an area of the website employing SSL, the web address of the page will begin with “https”. Please note that the personal information you submit may not necessarily be secure even if using SSL and that WSIB does not make any guarantee regarding the effectiveness of the security measures it has put in place.
If you have any questions about the security of the transmission and storage of information from your computer to WSIB, you should read your user manual or contact your internet service provider.
Additional information and resources
Additional information and resources may be found on the Privacy page of our website.