Health Examinations

What are an injured worker’s responsibilities when it comes to health examinations?

Generally, workers who receive workplace safety and insurance benefits must co-operate in their health care and return to work. This may require health examinations for a number of reasons such as determining appropriate health care, assessing permanent impairment for non-economic loss benefits or assessing a worker’s abilities and limitations given the injury.

When are health examinations needed?

The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board or the worker’s employer may request a health examination for workers who are receiving workplace insurance benefits if it will help:

- the worker’s early and safe return to work

- clarify differences in opinions between health professionals or

- clarify the nature of the injury, the diagnosis, if it was work-related, level of impairment, or the worker’s physical precautions.

The WSIB may also request a health examination if it will help the worker:

- re-enter the labour market in a suitable employment or business

- get the most timely access to treatment that is possible.

The employer may also request a health examination if it will help:

- provide significant new information not already available to the employer through claim file access.

What if the worker refuses an examination requested by the employer?

If a worker objects to having a health examination that is requested by the employer the worker must notify the employer of the objection. If the employer wants the WSIB to give direction to the worker to have the examination, the employer has 14 days to give the WSIB a written request. The WSIB will review the situation to see if the examination is needed and that it relates to the injuries, diseases, or conditions for which the worker is claiming benefits.

What if the worker simply refuses to go, even after the WSIB has determined it appropriate?

The WSIB decides if the worker has reasonable cause or excuse, such as severe weather conditions, a death in the immediate family or serious illness. If there is no reasonable cause or excuse, the adjudicator may reduce or stop the worker’s benefits for as long as the worker fails to co-operate.