Get to know the WSIB

What is the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB)?

The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) is an independent trust agency that administers compensation and no-fault insurance for Ontario workplaces. We are committed to delivering what matters to the workers and employers of Ontario: fast, accessible service and fair benefits at a fair price. The WSIB provides wage loss benefits, medical coverage and help getting back to work – the best possible outcome following an injury on the job.

What Coverage does the WSIB Provide?

The WSIB provides workplace insurance, which means different things to workers and to employers.

Under Bill 119 Mandatory Coverage, some people will be considered both ‘employer’ and ‘worker’ in the eyes of the WSIB.

For employers it means:

If a work-related injury occurs, you generally don’t need to worry about being sued by your covered workers.

For workers it means:

If you are in a work-related accident, depending on your situation, the WSIB may provide:

  • Loss of earnings benefits.
  • Coverage for health care costs.
  • Support getting you safely back to work. This can include working with you and your employer to adjust your duties, or paying for you to go to school to learn new skills if you can’t return to your original job.

Who does the WSIB Cover?

The Workplace Safety and Insurance Act 1997 (WSIA) determines who is covered by the WSIB. If your type of work is covered under the Act, then you are covered by the WSIB. Employers need to register and pay premiums in exchange for the coverage.

Please note that the WSIB does not cover everyone in Ontario. It isn’t mandatory for all businesses in Ontario to have WSIB coverage but it is for most. Companies that don’t have to be covered can choose to be covered by the WSIB, but it doesn’t automatically apply to everyone.

If you’d like to find out more information on coverage and how it applies to you, call us Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at 416-344-1000 or 1-800-387-0750 (TTY 1-800-387-0050).

What is Bill 119 or ‘Mandatory Coverage in Construction?’

As of January 1st, 2013, the Ontario Government made a change to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act 1997 (WSIA), making it mandatory for most workers in the construction industry to have coverage with the WSIB.

Why is WSIB Coverage now Mandatory for the Construction Industry?

The Ontario Government made the decision to expand Mandatory Coverage in the construction industry.  If you would like more information regarding their decision, please contact the Ministry of Labour.

What do We mean by ‘Construction Industry?’

‘Construction’ refers to any of the business activities listed in Class G in the WSIB Employer Classification Manual.

This means that any employer who does Class G – Construction work needs to be registered with the WSIB for coverage for themselves, as well as any workers they may already have covered, with some exceptions.

How Much does Coverage Cost?

The cost of coverage depends on earnings and your business activities. For more information, visit How to Calculate Insurable Earnings.

Is Coverage Available to Everyone?

Some businesses in Ontario choose to be covered by the WSIB even though they don’t have to, by law. These businesses register, report and pay premiums in the same way that businesses that are required to have coverage do.

What Happens if Someone in Construction is Supposed to Register, but Does Not Register?

It is an offence under the WSIA for a business/individual to do construction work if they require coverage but do not register. This means that:

  • The unregistered business is committing an offence and will be prosecuted as of January 1, 2014.
  • If construction work goes ahead without a clearance number, then both the hiring company and the contractor/unregistered business are committing an offence and, effective January 1, 2014, face fines and serious penalties. The maximum fine for a conviction of an offence under the WSIA is $100,000.
  • The unregistered business will need to pay back premiums.
  • The unregistered business will not be able to provide a clearance number to prove that they have coverage and are clear to work.
  • Without a clearance number, the company that hired the unregistered business may not give access to the job site.

What if I only do Construction Work for Part of the Year?

If you only have to have WSIB coverage for part of the year, you don’t necessarily need to pay premiums on your earnings for the full year, each year.

For more information, please see the Who Needs Coverage section.

What if I Change Jobs, Close my Business or Change the Work I Do?

If your work situation changes significantly and that change will affect your WSIB status, you must contact us within 10 days of the change to let us know.

Some examples of significant change are:

  • You used to do exempt home renovation work but now you’ve taken on construction work that’s not exempt.
  • You were an independent operator, but you no longer meet the criteria, e.g. you’ve hired a worker and vice versa.
  • You are an exempt partner or an executive officer that didn’t previously do construction work yourself, but now you do.

Where can I order more Mandatory Coverage brochures?

If you would like to order more free Mandatory Coverage brochures, please send an email with your business name, address and the number of brochures you need to:


Have Questions?

If you’d like more information on mandatory coverage and how it applies to you, please see our FAQs, our Administrative Practice Documents, send us an email at or call us Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at 416-344-1000 or 1-800-387-0750 (TTY 1-800-387-0050).