On-the-job injuries and deaths will drop as a result of a sweeping review of Ontario’s multimillion-dollar workplace safety rebate program, the head of the safety agency vows.
Workplace Safety and Insurance Board chair Steve Mahoney said he is looking for a better way to reward safe companies and bring into line those where workers are killed.
A Toronto Star report revealed that one arm of the provincial government has been giving financial rewards to companies that have been prosecuted for worker deaths by another arm of the government.
“I didn’t realize that we were paying out those kinds of bonuses to companies that are breaking the law,” he said
Labour groups say changes will be an uphill battle, predicting the business lobby will balk at losing the rebates.
A Star investigation has found that the workplace insurance agency has given tens of millions of dollars in rebates to companies that have been prosecuted by the provincial government and found guilty of safety violations leading to deaths, amputations and other gruesome injuries.
The investigation examined whether rebates were issued in the year following the accident and the year of the guilty plea. That analysis unearthed 75 instances since 2001. The offending companies were fined a total of $14 million by the province yet received payouts totalling $42 million from the WSIB.