Policy/Program Memorandum No. 76A


Issued under the authority of the Deputy Minister of Education

Date of Issue: September 27, 2000  Effective:Until revoked or modified
Subject: Workplace Safety and Insurance Coverage for Students in Work Education Programs
Application: District Office Managers
Directors of Education
Principals of Secondary Schools
Principals of Provincial Schools
Reference: This memorandum replaces Policy/Program Memorandum No. 76A,
December 6, 1995.


Coverage Under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997

In 1983, coverage under the Workers' Compensation Act was implemented for students involved in work education programs, including work experience and cooperative education programs. Coverage was added in 1987 to include students in the Supervised Alternative Learning for Excused Pupils program (SALEP).

In all of these programs, local commercial enterprises and community agencies work with school boards to provide students with experiential learning opportunities. Because the emphasis of these programs is on educational experience rather than productivity, students do not normally receive wages. Although some students may receive expense allowances or honoraria, these do not necessarily give them employee status. Consequently, the training organizations may not be able to provide coverage under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, since only employees on their payrolls are eligible. Before a student is placed with an employer, boards should determine whether the student will be covered by the employer.

Obtaining Coverage

To ensure Workplace Safety and Insurance coverage, the Work Education Agreement form must be completed by the parties concerned before the student starts at the training station. District school boards must use the Work Education Agreement form for individual students. The form should be completed for students in cooperative education, work experience, and Supervised Alternative Learning for Excused Pupils (SALEP) programs who are not receiving wages or are not covered by their employer.

The student's signature must appear on the Work Education Agreement form, indicating consent to the conditions of coverage in the agreement. The consent of a parent or guardian is also required if a student is under eighteen years of age. (This requirement is still valid despite the fact that the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act gives students who are sixteen years old the right to protection of their personal information.)

A Work Education Agreement form must also be completed for students who are participating for more than one day in job shadowing or "job twinning" in which they are involved in hands-on work, provided that they are at least 14 years of age. Coverage is not provided for students under fourteen. Job-shadowing or job-twinning experiences lasting one day should be treated as field trips; that is, all the necessary forms that apply to field trips should be completed for students involved in these experiences.

Conditions of Coverage

  1. Students are covered under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act during the time that they are performing the duties of a trainee at the training station under the supervision of a training supervisor.
  2. Students are covered when their training station is located on district school board property, and when they are supervised by non-teaching staff members (for example, building custodians, electrical maintenance supervisors, audio-visual technicians, or purchasing officers).
  3. Students are covered when assigned to placements that do not have compulsory Workplace Safety and Insurance coverage (e.g., banks), since they are considered to be employees of the Ministry of Education for this purpose.
  4. Students enrolled in the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) are covered under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act before they become paid registered apprentices. Those registered under the Trades Qualification and Apprenticeship Act will establish an employer-employee relationship with their employer, and the employer will assume responsibility for providing coverage. OYAP students registered under the Apprenticeship and Certification Act are covered by the Ministry of Education if they are not being paid a salary. Once a student is on an employer's payroll, the employer assumes responsibility for the student's coverage.
  5. Students whose training station is outside the province – for example, students enrolled in international cooperative education programs – are covered under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act for up to six months while at their work placement in the host province or country. If the placement continues beyond the six months, a written request for extension of coverage must be sent to the Ministry of Education.
  6. Students are not covered while travelling to and from the training station. Students are covered while they are travelling in the course of their work for the training organization.
  7. Students are not covered when working as teacher aides in a classroom or shop in a school. In a traditional school placement, students are under the constant supervision of teachers, and teachers have greater control over the working conditions in a classroom setting than they have over the working conditions in a placement in the community. The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board table of accident rates by type of industry shows that the level of risk is generally much higher in jobs in the community. The ministry's main concern is to provide coverage for students in placements in the higher-risk areas.
  8. Students are not covered during the time that they are in training for, or are participating in, individual or team sports. Amateur or professional athletes are not covered under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act.
  9. Students are not covered under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act while they are being transported by ambulance from a cooperative education work station to a hospital as a result of an injury.

Benefits

The Workplace Safety and Insurance Act provides for compensation for loss of earnings; health care;rehabilitation services;and disability pensions for employees injured in on-the-job accidents. See the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board pamphlets for additional details regarding benefits. These pamphlets are available from local Workplace Safety and Insurance Board offices.

For the purpose of Workplace Safety and Insurance coverage only, students are deemed to be employees of the Ministry of Education, although they do not receive wages.

If a student has an accident during unpaid cooperative education hours that results in loss of time, and if the accident results in loss of wages from a part-time job not connected with the cooperative education program, the student is entitled to compensation for the hours missed at that part-time job. Loss-of-earnings benefits are paid at the rate of the student's pay for the part-time job. Details regarding the student's part-time job (i.e., number of hours worked weekly and rate of pay) must be provided to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board. For details regarding the procedures to be followed, see the section "Procedures for Students Who Miss Time from Work", page 6.

Reporting Procedures and Claims

Any injury, however minor, suffered by a student in the course of a work education program should be reported by the student to the employer and to the appropriate teacher with full details, including the time, the place, and the precise circumstances under which the injury occurred. Accidents requiring only first-aid treatment do not have to be reported to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, but a record of the details must be kept by the district school board. If medical treatment by a doctor, dentist, hospital, or other treatment agency is required, or if an accident results in loss of time from the program, a report must be sent by the school board representative to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.

In the case of an accident, the Employers' Report of Injury/Disease (form 7) must be submitted by the school board representative to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board within three (3) days of the accident. There is a $250.00 fine for late filing of this report. The original copy of the report, with a copy of the Work Education Agreement, must be received by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board within seven (7) working days of the accident. This information must also be sent to the Ministry of Education. The school board representative who completes form 7 must ensure that the Ministry of Education is identified as the employer, and that the firm number 250379-FJ is included. The name and address of the training organization, as well as the name and telephone number of the training supervisor, must also be indicated on form 7. If all pertinent information is not available at the time the report is filed, the phrase "details to follow" should be entered on the form. A completed report must be submitted as soon as all details have been obtained.

If a student requires medical treatment, a Treatment Memorandum (form 156C) must be presented to the medical practitioner, who will then submit it to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board. The Ministry of Education must be identified as the employer, and the firm number 250379-FJ must be entered on the form. Boards should routinely provide copies of this form to students and employers. Use of this form will ensure that the claim is not recorded by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board as a claim made by the training organization or the school board.

Copies of the Employers' Report of Injury/Disease (form 7) and the Treatment Memorandum (form 156C) are available from:

 Workplace Safety and Insurance Board
200 Front Street West
Toronto ON M5V 3J1
Telephone: (416) 344-3862

When requesting forms, please identify the Ministry of Education as the employer and cite the firm number 250379-FJ.

Reports of injury or industrial disease must be submitted either by mail or by fax to the ministry and to the appropriate office of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (see details below).

Head Offices

Ministry of Education
Secondary School Project
Mowat Block, 8th Floor
900 Bay Street
Toronto ON M7A 1L2
Telephone: (416) 325-2547
Fax: (416) 325-2552
Workplace Safety and Insurance Board
200 Front Street West
Toronto ON M5V 3J1
Telephone: (416) 344-1000 or 1-800-387-0750
Fax: (416) 344-4684 or 1-888-313-7373

Regional Offices of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board

  1. For injured students living in Huron, Oxford, Middlesex, and Elgin counties:
    Workplace Safety and Insurance Board
    148 Fullarton Street,
    London ON N6A 5P3
    Telephone: (519) 663-2331 or 1-800-265-4752;
    Fax: (519) 663-2333.
  2. For injured students living in Sudbury:
    Workplace Safety and Insurance
    Board 30 Cedar Street,
    5th Floor,
    Sudbury ON P3E 1A4
    Telephone: (705) 675-9301 or 1-800-461-3350
    Fax: (705) 675-9367.
  3. For injured students living in Brant County and the regional municipalities of Haldimand-Norfolk, Halton, Niagara, and Hamilton-Wentworth:
    Workplace Safety and Insurance Board
    120 King Street West
    Hamilton ON L8N 4C5
    Telephone: (905) 523-1800 or 1-800-263-8488
    Fax: (905) 521-4558.
  4. For injured students living in Windsor:
    Workplace Safety and Insurance Board
    235 Eugenie Street West
    Windsor ON N8X 2X7
    Telephone: (519) 966-0660 or 1-800-265-7380
    Fax: (519) 972-4181.
  5. For injured students living in Kenora, Rainy River, Algoma, Manitoulin, and Thunder Bay districts:
    Workplace Safety and Insurance Board
    P.O. Box 7000 410 Memorial Avenue
    Thunder Bay ON P7C 5S2
    Telephone: (807) 343-1710 or 1-800-465-3934;
    Fax: (807) 343-1702 or 1-800-461-5699.
  6. For injured students living in Dundas, Glengarry, Grenville, Lanark, Leeds, Prescott, Renfrew, Russell, Stormont, Frontenac, Hastings, Lennox, Addington, and Prince Edward counties, and in the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton:
    Workplace Safety and Insurance Board
    360 Albert Street
    Suite 200
    Ottawa ON K1R 7X7
    Telephone: (613) 238-7851 or 1-800-267-9601;
    Fax: (613) 239-3321 or 239-3349.

Procedures for Students Who Miss Time from Work

To receive benefits under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, the injured student is required to apply for benefits within six (6) months of the time of occupational injury or disease. At the time of filing a claim for benefits, the injured student must also consent to the disclosure of information regarding his/her ability to return to work provided by a health professional to the employer for the sole purpose of facilitating return to work (see reverse side of Functional Abilities Form No. 2647A). Failure to file a claim or provide consent for the release of such information can result in the denial of benefits. The injured student is also required to provide a copy of the claim and the consent to his or her work placement employer.

Ministry Data Collection

The Ministry of Education requires the following data from school boards annually:

  1. the total number of hours, during the school year, for which the ministry has supplied Workplace Safety and Insurance coverage (This total should be compiled from the cumulative totals on students log sheets. It is important that the hours reported are the actual hours during which a student was at a training station. Hours of placement as a teacher aide are to be excluded);
  2. the total number of hours, during the school year, for which training organizations have supplied Workplace Safety and Insurance coverage;
  3. the names of the students for whom reports were filed with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, the dates of injury, and the assigned claim numbers.

A request for this information will be sent to school boards in early December. This information should be supplied by January 15 of the following year.

The ministry appreciates your assistance in providing coverage under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act for students in work education programs.

Additional Safety Concerns

Concern has been expressed about the placement of students in areas where they may be exposed to infectious diseases. Such areas include hospitals, laboratories, dental offices, ambulance services, veterinarian offices, day-care centres, and nursing homes. These placements are not consistent in requiring vaccinations against various diseases. As well, schools and day-care centres are not consistent in requiring tuberculosis tests.

District school boards are advised to investigate the need for vaccinations or tests in each particular situation. If it is determined that a risk exists, vaccination or testing of the student must be a condition of accepting the placement. Further, if there are other safety concerns specific to the placement, the board should decide if any additional preplacement action is required.