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HEALTH & SAFETY: An update on 2018 WSIB rates, chronic mental stress, rate framework review
December 12th, 2017 4:11 pm     A+ | a-
Andrew Pariser and Amina Dibe / RESCON


As 2018 approaches, so do three major initiatives within the WSIB.

RESCON has had a busy year consulting with the WSIB on behalf of builders in 2017 and is expecting more of the same in 2018. First, we preview 2018 rates. Second, we provide an update on chronic mental stress. Third, we discuss the next steps in WSIB’s rate framework review including a newly planned WSIB seminar which will be held in Maple in early next year.

WSIB Premium Rates for 2018

The Unfunded Liability now stands at $2.6 billion, down from $4 billion in 2016, and a high of more than $14.2 billion in 2011. This improvement was reflected in the 2018 premium rates when they were revealed at the WSIB Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Sept. 20th. The board of directors has approved an average reduction of 3.3 per cent and capping the maximum decrease for any one rate group at 7.6 per cent.  This is the second straight annual deduction in rates after a decade and half of rate increases.

Rate changes to the builder groups:

  • Rate Group 723: Industrial, Commercial & Institutional Construction – 7.5% reduction
  • Rate Group 764: Homebuilding – 7.5 % reduction
  • Rate Group 905: Apartment and Condominium Services –  4.8% increase

Rate changes to the construction sub-trades and related groups:

  • Rate Group 681: Lumber and Builders Supply – 1.8% increase
  • Rate Group 719: Inside Finishing – 7.5% reduction
  • Rate Group 728: Roofing – 7.6% reduction
  • Rate Group 748: Form Work and Demolition – 7.6% reduction
  • Rate Group 751: Sliding and Outside Finishing – 7.6% reduction

Chronic Mental Stress

As per legislation released in 2017, the WSIB has now issued a policy for recognizing and compensating chronic mental stress injuries in Ontario.

As an overview, WSIB’s current psychological entitlements include:

  • Traumatic Mental Stress (TMS) (primary entitlement)
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (primary entitlement)
  • Chronic Pain Disability (CPD) (secondary entitlement)
  • Post-Traumatic Disability (secondary entitlement)
  • Chronic Mental Stress (CMS) – new coverage under Bill 127 retroactive to April 29th, 2014 (if claim is filed before July 1st, 2018)

CMS Highlights

  • A claim is covered if CMS is caused by a substantial work-related stressor arising out of the course of employment, including but not limited to, workplace harassment.
  • Diagnosis will follow the current DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) and include:
    • Acute stress disorder
    • Post-Traumatic stress disorder
    • An anxiety or depression disorder
    • Any diagnosis must be from a regulated health-care professional (qualified to provide DSM diagnoses).
  • No entitlement for related to employment functions:
    • Terminations
    • Transfers
    • Discipline

However, there could be entitlement if the employer’s actions are deemed to be egregious, abusive or considered workplace harassment.


Rate Framework Review

Consultations are ongoing with respect to Rate Framework Review with the next round of submissions due by mid-January. If you have any questions or concerns your company would like raised during consultations, please contact RESCON by Jan. 6th, 2018.


  • Letters have been sent from the WSIB to all Employers. These letters begin to address issues related to rate groups and multi-rating.
  • If you disagree with your rating (group or single vs. multi), please write back to the WSIB or contact Andrew Pariser at RESCON.
  • Rate Framework Review is scheduled to go live in 2020. Preparation is starting now and RESCON is hosting an information session on Jan. 11th at 8 a.m. at Eagle’s Nest Golf Club in Maple. This is a must attend for builders, contractors and anyone who operates in the construction sector.
  • Shadow rates (what your new rate will be under the new system) are scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2018.

Happy Holidays to everyone! If you have any questions related to Health and Safety or WSIB, please be in touch.

Work Safe!


Andrew Pariser is the vice-president of RESCON and chair of the RESCON health and safety committee. Email him at Amina Dibe works in external and government relations for RESCON. Email her at


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