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Ontario seeks coverage for construction workers

By COS staff
| www.cos-mag.com

Ontario wants 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 of 1997 (WSIA) for independent operators in construction and other individuals in the construction industry who are currently not covered.

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 for optional coverage with the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB).

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 come into force.

“Our proposed legislation will contribute to our goal of making Ontario’s workplaces the safest in the world,” said Peter Fonseca, Minister of Labour. “More individuals in construction would have access to health and safety education and training resources.”

If passed, the proposal would extend WSIA coverage to approximately 90,000 individuals in the construction industry who are currently not subject to mandatory coverage.

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