The 2021 WSIB Grants Program will focus on the impact of COVID-19. Three considerations for the competition include:
- COVID-19 is changing how we work
- COVID-19 is changing how we approach health and safety
- COVID-19 is changing how we support return-to-work and recovery
The Grants Program is committed to supporting the WSIB’s strategic priority of being financially responsible and accountable through the operating practices of the program on an ongoing basis.
COVID-19 is changing how we work
This refers to the impact of COVID-19 on how a worker is expected to perform their job. COVID-19 has resulted in a number of changes, including where we work and how we interact in the workplace. It is important to understand how the changing approach to work will affect work injuries. Topics of interest include:
- How will working from home impact the definition of work-related injuries and illness?
- What factors of new work arrangements and remote-work impact work-related injuries and illness?
- What is the effect of COVID-19 on different sectors and occupations in terms of health and safety, and working conditions?
- What will be the future claim types and volumes?
- How will isolated workplaces affect social, mental and physical wellbeing?
COVID-19 is changing how we approach health and safety
This refers to the impact of COVID-19 on Ontario workplaces. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in significant changes to how we work. It is important to understand that some old practices should be left behind, while some new processes that have been implemented should be carried forward. New ways of working can potentially minimize the risk to workers, and it is imperative to leverage the insight gained to improve occupational health and safety. Topics of interest include:
- How has COVID-19 impacted the perception of and/or investment in occupational health and safety
- What new occupational health and safety measures are (were) effective and should be maintained?
- What past occupational health and safety measures should not be carried forward?
- How to implement occupational health and safety in a remote-working environment?
- How to maintain the occupational health and safety movement caused by COVID-19?
- What are effective programs or guides to support safe, effective and productive business operations against future pandemics or waves of COVID-19?
- What occupational health and safety gaps have been identified and need to be addressed to better protect and support vulnerable/high-risk occupations?
- What opportunities exist to better leverage, align, and/or link data within the workers’ compensation system to improve outcomes?
COVID-19 is changing how we support return-to-work and recovery
This refers to the impact of COVID-19 on the ability to achieve early, safe, and sustained return-to-work (RTW) and recovery for injured and ill workers. COVID-19 has changed how we make decisions, deliver care, and support injured and ill workers. It will be important to leverage these changes to improve the workers’ compensation system. Topics of interest include:
- Are new approaches for delivering care effective?
- What factors influence RTW and recovery post-COVID-19?
- How to support early and sustained RTW in a work-from-home or remote workplace?
- What skills and training will be needed for the evolving workforce?
- How can remote/virtual (online, telemedicine) care be optimized?
- How does the fear of pandemic impact readiness/willingness to RTW and how can it be addressed?
- What are the defining features of mental health claims in frontline or essential workers and how can they be supported?