Employers are required to file a Form 7 (Employer’s Report of Accident) – a form that employers use when they become aware of a prescribed workplace accident. While the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act (WSIA), has always stated that the Form 7 must be filed within three business days, the WSIB’s own policies have allowed employers up to seven days to file the Form 7.
The WSIB has amended its Employers’ Initial Accident-Reporting Obligations Policy to require employers to file the Form 7 within 3 business days of becoming aware of a prescribed accident. The expectation is that enforcement will be swift and employers can face financial and prosecutorial consequences for failing to file a Form 7 on time.
WSIB Form 7 Defined
The Form 7, formally known as the “Employer’s Report of Injury/Disease,” is a document employers are mandated to complete and dispatch to the WSIB upon knowledge of a workplace-related injury or illness. It delves into specifics about the incident, such as the affected worker’s details, injury or illness nature, cause, and the employer’s interpretation of events.
Statutory vs. WSIB Timeline for Filing Form 7
According to section 21(1) of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act (1997), employers must inform the WSIB of a workplace injury or illness within three days of becoming aware of the incident. However, the WSIB’s operational practice formerly differed slightly. The WSIB used to generally allow seven days for employers to submit a Form 7, providing a more extended window than the legislation itself.
The new Employers’ Initial Accident-Reporting Obligations Policy changes that. Employers now must file the Form 7 within three business days of learning about a reportable accident or illness.
Consequences of Missing the Deadline
Failure to comply with the WSIB’s guidelines and legislative requirements can lead to monetary penalties and/or prosecution under the Provincial Offences Act.
Reportable Injuries and Illnesses
The new Policy states that employers must report a work-related accident to the WSIB if they learn that a worker requires health care and/or:
- is absent from regular work
- earns less than regular pay for regular work (e.g., part-time hours)
- requires modified work at less than regular pay, or
- requires modified work at regular pay for more than seven calendar days following the date of accident.
Best Practices for Form 7 Submission
- Employers should re-examine their injury and illness reporting system, and make sure managers, human resources, and disability management teams are updated on the new requirements.
- Employees should be encouraged to report work-related injuries or illnesses immediately and advise the employer if they are seeking medical treatment for any work-related injury or illness.
- Employers should be up to date on how to file a Form 7 using the WSIB’s e-filing system so that Form 7’s are completed and filed immediately.
Contact Seabrook Workplace Law for all your workers’ compensation / WSIB questions. We support employers in the claims process and on appeals.