WSIB backs off threat to audit federally regulated carriers
April 15, 2011
TORONTO, Ont. -- The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) put a scare into a good number of Ontario fleets recently, when it issued a memo saying it would begin auditing federally regulated carriers as part of its Workwell program.
TORONTO, Ont. — The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) put a scare into a good number of Ontario fleets recently, when it issued a memo saying it would begin auditing federally regulated carriers as part of its Workwell program.
“Departing from past practice, the Workwell program has included federally regulated, Schedule 1 companies in the 2011 annual selection process,” the agency said in a memo dated March 15. “It is our belief that recent court decisions allow us to do so.”
However, the Ontario Trucking Association was quick to defend those federally regulated carriers and appears to have convinced WSIB to reverse its decision. The OTA issued a release yesterday indicating WSIB will revert to its previous policy on the matter and will cancel any audits scheduled for federally regulated carriers.
“Full credit to the WSIB for their cooperation in reviewing this decision and for taking quick action to resolve the matter in a common sense way allowing both the WSIB and the industry to avoid getting embroiled in a protracted legal battle,” said OTA chief David Bradley.
Prior to the WSIB’s change of heart, Bradley told Trucknews.com the OTA was prepared to take the fight to court if the agency carried out its planned audits on federally regulated carriers.
“The Workwell memo suggests the only way to resolve this matter is through the courts,” Bradley told Trucknews.com.” If it’s a legal battle they want, I am sure we’ll give them one. But what a waste of everyone’s time and money. I am hopeful that the WSIB administration will pay heed to our concerns before it gets to that.”
Fortunately, it appears a court battle will not be necessary. Doug Switzer, vice-president of public affairs with the OTA, thanked the association’s members for bringing the matter to the OTA’s attention early.
“By letting us know what was going on right away, we were able to take immediate action,” Switzer said. “We’re glad the WSIB leadership was receptive to revisiting the issue and we think they have definitely taken the correct decision. It’s one less battle we have to fight.”
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