Recently the province passed the Supporting Ontario's First Responders Act, which is new legislation that will create a presumption that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) diagnosed in first responders is work-related. The presumption allows for faster access to WSIB benefits, resources and timely treatment. The act is part of the province's strategy to prevent or mitigate the risk of PTSD and provide first responders with faster access to treatment and the information they need to stay healthy.
The Supporting Ontario's First Responders Act (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder), 2016 amends the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 (WSIA) and the Ministry of Labour Act. The act received Royal Assent on April 6, 2016, and is now in force.
How to submit a PTSD prevention plan
Employers of workers covered under the PTSD presumption are directed to provide the Minister of Labour with information on their workplace post-traumatic stress disorder prevention plans by April 23, 2017. This direction is published in the Ontario Gazette, Volume 149, Issue 17.
The specific groups covered under the PTSD presumption include:
- Police, including First Nations constables, and chiefs of police
- Firefighters (including part-time and volunteer firefighters), including those who are employed or who volunteer to provide fire protection services on a reserve; fire investigators, and fire chiefs
- Paramedics and emergency medical attendants, and ambulance service managers
- Workers involved in dispatching emergency services, including workers who play a role in the chain of communications which lead up to the dispatch for ambulance services, firefighters and police
- Correctional officers/youth services workers (including managers) and workers who provide direct health care services in adult institutional corrections and secure youth justice facilities
- Members of emergency response teams dispatched by a communications officer.
Prevention plans should be submitted in electronic Word format to firstname.lastname@example.org. Where submission by this method is not possible, information can be mailed to:
The Ontario Ministry of Labour
400 University Avenue, 14th Floor
Toronto, ON M7A 1T7
Att: PTSD Prevention Plan
Resources to assist in the development of a prevention plan are available online as part of the free online toolkit.
Should you have any questions, please contact the ministry at 416-325-4575.
For further details, please refer to the following resources: