New occupational disease review next step in reforming and streamlining system

MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions to lead review

Toronto, April 12, 2022 – The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) and the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development (MLTSD) are launching a new review of the occupational disease system to help strengthen and streamline the occupational health and safety system, and integrate prevention into the broader health system.

The review will be led by MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions, a world-class research centre based at St. Michael’s Hospital, a site of Unity Health Toronto, that specializes in studying complex community health issues and solutions. The review is expected to address challenges identified by Dr. Paul Demers in his report on occupational disease, including how primary providers are trained to recognized occupational disease, and how the system can include more prevention of future disease.

“As science advances and our understanding of occupational disease evolves, we need to make sure our systems of support keep up,” says Jeffery Lang, President and CEO of the WSIB. “It is crystal clear we need everyone involved in the occupational disease system to work together to prevent illnesses in the first place, and properly identify them when they do happen.”

In addition to consulting with health and safety system partners including labour groups and workers’ rights advocates, employers, health care professionals and the health and safety community, MAP will leverage existing research and expertise in conducting the review. A final report, expected in December 2022, will propose system design options for a leading and sustainable occupational disease system.

This review comes as the WSIB is implementing its Occupational Disease Strategy. Recent actions include:

  • establishing a Scientific Advisory Table
  • public consultation on an Occupational Disease Policy Framework
  • addition of Parkinson’s disease in miners exposed to McIntyre Powder to regulations for presumed coverage
  • ongoing scientific studies through the WSIB’s Research and Grants program 

“Our goal is a system that removes hurdles and hassles and allows everyone involved to offer help,” says Lang.


For further information, please contact:
WSIB media relations