Operational Policy Manual User Guide

The Operational Policy Manual (OPM) is the source of operational policy for the WSIB. It contains policies that the WSIB uses to make decisions about worker and employer rights and obligations, employer premiums, benefits and other related workplace safety and insurance issues.

The Operational Policy Branch develops benefits, revenue, and occupational disease policies for the OPM.

How the Manual is Organized

Every policy in the manual has a unique six-digit number that is broken down into three categories: chapters, sections, and subjects.

Chapters – the first two digits represent the chapter, e.g., 12 – Coverage

Sections – these are characterized by four digits, e.g., 12-01 – Employer coverage

Subjects – this six digit number determines where the policy document is placed in the manual, e.g., 12-01-01 – Who is an Employer?

Tables of Concordance

The Tables of Concordance for legislation match sections of one Act with the corresponding sections of another Act. The tables are located in the Appendix of the manual.

Document Headings

Application Date

Most policies are derived from the current legislation, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997. These policies generally apply to claims with accident dates on or after January 1, 1998; however, some policies may apply to claims with accident dates prior to January 1, 1998 because of transitional provisions contained within the current legislation.

There are also several policies which may relate to prior Acts. For example, a policy may be pertinent to pre-1990 claims, i.e., claims with an accident date before 1990. Some policies may apply to post-1990 claims, but before 1998. Still other policies may apply to all claims, regardless of accident date.

To make it easier to determine whether a policy applies, the WSIB is specific with respect to the wording in the Application Date section. For instance, a policy will apply to decisions made on or after a certain date, and where appropriate, for claims occurring on or after a certain date. The Application Date is located in the header of the policy page as well as in the footer of the print friendly version.

Published Date

The published date refers to the date when the document was published for release on the website and in hard copy. It is located in the header of the policy page as well as in the footer of the print friendly version. The WSIB releases new or revised policies as soon as possible after they are minuted or when the new policy goes into effect in the event of a prospective application date. The electronic version is available online for public consumption and the hard copy version is mailed to manual subscribers.

Document History

To aid the user in keeping track of the previously published versions of the policy, the last published date of the current policy is listed. In some policies, all previously published versions and dates are listed. If the policy was previously published with a different number, only the last published date of the old policy number is listed.

How to locate policies in the OPM


To use the search feature in the top right corner of the website, key in the term(s) you are looking for, click on Search or press Enter. You can key in single words, phrases, or document numbers with the hyphens included (example: 18-01-05).

Left navigation menu

The chapters of the manual are organized in the left navigation menu. Each chapter displays its own table of contents when you click the chapter title. To display a policy, click on a link from the chapter’s table of contents. The policy content will display in the centre of the screen.

Navigating within a policy document

Policies generally contain these major headings: Policy, Guidelines, and References. To move directly to one of these headings, click on the green buttons under the header of a policy document. To move back to the beginning of the policy, click on the Back to top link or scroll using the vertical bar on the right side of the browser window.

Cross references

References to other policies or forms within the content of a policy are hyperlinked. The title and number of the referenced policy or form is in green text. Simply click the link and the content will be displayed. To return to the original policy, click the Back button on your browser.


When you click on OPM Home in the left navigation menu you are taken to the landing page for this manual. The landing page contains the most current updates to the manual with hyperlinks to the updated policies.


To obtain a print friendly version of a policy, click on the Print Official Version button on the top right corner of the policy page. You can use this print friendly version to update your hard copy of the manual if you choose.