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Workplace Safety and Insurance Conference

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In support of efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Lancaster House is moving the 2020 Workplace Safety and Insurance Conference online. Our virtual conference will meet the same high standards to which all Lancaster House events are held.

HRPA Continuing Professional Development

HRPA Continuing Professional Development

The Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) has approved Lancaster House as a Continuing Professional Development Partner, guaranteeing that participation in our conferences, workshops and audio conferences will be accepted by the HRPA for CPD credit.

Register today to earn your CPD credits with Lancaster!

In association with: https://www.cirhr.utoronto.ca/https://www.iwh.on.ca/

Friday, September 25, 2020

Registration 1:15 PM - 1:30 PM  
Introductory remarks by Co-Chairs 1:30 PM - 1:40 PM  

Keynote Address

Using Scientific Evidence to Determine the Work-Relatedness of Cancer

1:40 PM - 2:10 PM

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Paul Demers
Director, Occupational Cancer Research Centre, and
Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health

Panel Summary

In a recent report to the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, Dr. Paul Demers finds that the estimated number of occupational cancer cases in Ontario far exceeds the number of claims resulting in compensation. The report explores scientific methods of achieving a more effective compensation system for workers. In his presentation, Dr. Demers will examine the magnitude of the challenge, review best practices in other jurisdictions, and make recommendations to improve the compensation and prevention of occupational cancers moving forward.


2:10 PM - 2:20 PM

Friday, September 25, 2020

Registration 1:15 PM - 1:30 PM  
Introductory remarks by Co-Chairs 1:30 PM - 1:40 PM  

Panel 1

WSIB and WSIAT Update: Major cases, legislative changes, and policy initiatives

2:20 PM - 3:20 PM


Michael Benoit
Labour Relations Officer
Ontario Nurses' Association
Laura Russell
Mathews, Dinsdale & Clark LLP
Daryl Seupersad
Employer Counsel
Sherrard Kuzz LLP
Antony Singleton
Worker Counsel
The Law Office of Antony Singleton

Panel Summary

Seasoned advocates will discuss the most important compensation cases from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal (WSIAT) over the past year, as well as key legislative and policy developments and their impact on workplace parties and their representatives. Issues to be addressed include the following:

  • the right to sue and civil liability in cases of alleged workplace harassment;
  • loss of earnings benefits;
  • coverage for medical cannabis; and
  • the WSIB's new rate framework model.

Final selection of topics will take place a few weeks before the conference, ensuring up-to-date coverage of the most significant developments in workers' compensation law.


3:20 PM - 3:30 PM

Friday, September 25, 2020

Registration 1:15 PM - 1:30 PM  
Introductory remarks by Co-Chairs 1:30 PM - 1:40 PM  

Panel 2

Coping with the COVID-19 Crisis: Timely advice on practice, procedure, and entitlement

3:30 PM - 4:30 PM


John Bartolomeo
Workers' Health & Safety Legal Clinic
Melissa Brown
Operations Stakeholder Relations Manager
Workplace Safety and Insurance Board
Diane Laranja
Employer Counsel
Filion Wakely Thorup Angeletti LLP
Joanna Smith
Vice-Chair Registrar
Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal

Panel Summary

The COVID-19 crisis has profoundly affected workers' compensation systems across Canada. In Ontario, thousands of workers have filed claims related to COVID-19, focusing attention on the capacity of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal (WSIAT) to provide adequate and timely access to justice. In this session, experts will provide practical guidance on both the substantive and procedural impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on workers' compensation, with a focus on the following issues:

  • How does the WSIB determine entitlement to benefits for COVID-19? What evidence does the WSIB consider in determining the work-relatedness of COVID-19 claims? Is a positive diagnosis required for a successful claim?
  • What lessons can be learned from previous WSIAT decisions on occupational disease or infection claims?
  • What steps has the WSIB taken to provide financial relief to employers? How is the WSIB allocating costs associated with COVID-19 claims? How will the COVID-19 pandemic affect premium rates and the transition to the new rate framework?
  • What alternative hearing methods have the WSIB and the WSIAT implemented in place of in-person hearings? How are the WSIB and the WSIAT addressing parties' objections to alternative hearing methods? How can parties and their representatives best prepare for hearings by teleconference or videoconference?
  • In what other ways have the WSIB and the WSIAT modified their services in response to the COVID-19 crisis? What operational restrictions should parties and their representatives bear in mind?
  • What strategies are parties and their representatives using to ensure that their cases move forward expediently? Prior to a hearing, how can representatives work together to narrow the issues in dispute, address any procedural complications, and manage documents? How might representatives address the unique challenges presented by two-party appeals?
  • What are some best practices for effectively managing COVID-19 and other workers' compensation claims in the context of the pandemic?

Conference ends

4:30 PM

Keynote Speakers


Click here to find out more information regarding CPD and the hour requirements in your province.

Conference Sessions

  • This program has been approved by the Human Resources Professional Association (HRPA) for 2.5 Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hours.