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Employers' responsibilities for workplace injuries

Employers have duties and obligations according to Occupational Health and Safety/Workplace Safety Acts and also according to provincial/territorial workplace and insurance boards.

Accordingly, if a workplace injury or illness does occur, then the employer has a number of responsibilities he or she has to fulfill.

Most provincial worker’s compensation boards have similar requirements, but there may be variances. Check with the worker’s compensation board of your province or territory to find out what the requirements are.

Getting the employee help

If the employee got injured and you’ve seen it or someone reported it to you, you need to make sure the employee gets or seeks medical attention as soon as possible.

If needed, provide first aid treatment if required at the scene of the accident.

If the worker needs to be transported to a medical facility, the employer should be paying those costs and getting him the appropriate transportation. If the worker needs an ambulance, the employer should call the ambulance and pay for the ambulance service.

Tell your employee to get a copy of the medical report once he or she has left the treatment facility.

The employee should also be paid for the day on which the accident occurred.

Reporting the accident

As an employer, you are responsible for reporting the workplace injury to the worker’s compensation board of your province or territory. Depending on the province or territory of your residence, the board usually requires the accident or illness to be reported as soon as possible, or as soon as you become aware of the accident.

In British Columbia and Alberta, the requirement for reporting is usually within 72 hours, or three days, but in other provinces/territories it could be less or more.

The accident needs to be reported if:

  • There is medical attention needed beyond first aid;
  • Employee is unable to work for a while and/or there is a need to temporarily or permanently modify work beyond the date of the accident;
  • Medical aid expenses are incurred;
  • a disabling or potentially disabling condition was caused by occupational exposure or activity;
  • a permanent disability or death has occurred, etc.,

It’s also important to keep a record of the workplace accident or illness. Details, such as name of worker, date, time the accident or illness was reported to you, the description of what happened, whether first aid was administered and whether the worker had to be transported to a medical facility,and so on.


Once you have received a copy of the physician’s report for the employee, see if your worker can come back in limited capacity, or if he or she is still recommended to be resting at home or at a medical facility.

If the employee can come back make sure to give him or her tasks they can perform, if they have limited ability upon their return to work. The employer has the responsibility to re-employ the worker, even if the worker cannot return to his or her old duties. He or she has to be given modified work, meaning work they are able to do before returning to the duties they held before the accident/illness.

Contact the worker’s compensation board of your province or territory if you have questions about the process and/or you want to file a claim.

Read more:

Information on Worker's Compensation Federal Government Employees

Reporting a Workplace Incident/Injury Newfoundland and Labrador