What to Report When an Employee is Injured on the Job?

Posted in: Claims Costs,Safety,Workplace | Posted by Rebecca Ingram on October 15, 2015

An employee is injured on the job, as an employer what are you responsible for and why does it matter?

According to the Workers’ Compensation Act of Alberta, an employer has certain obligations when dealing with a work-related accident, such as providing first aid treatment at the scene of the accident, providing and paying the cost of transport to an appropriate medical facility if necessary, paying the worker their full wages for the day of accident and reporting the injury to the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) within 72 hours of the accident.Although these responsibilities are legislated, there are real benefits for complying with them that can have a positive impact on managing claims and claims costs.

Here is a look at what to report when an employee is injured on the job:


Arranging for first aid treatment and transporting a worker to hospital may seem intuitive but having medical documentation of an incident as close to the date/time of accident can be instrumental in determining the treatment of an injury and the entitlement of a claim.

Most Accurate

Generally, the first medical reporting following an injury will be the most accurate source of information and can assist in preventing a claim being prolonged by pre-existing and/or concurrent conditions or symptoms and complaints not related to the accident or mechanism of injury. Establishing the presence of a pre-existing or concurrent condition and defining the exact area of injury can help limit the level of responsibility that the WCB accepts for a claim, thereby containing costs associated with that claim.

Progressive Injuries

In the case of progressive injuries or injuries that develop over time, making sure that there is medical documentation from the first sign of symptoms can help establish a date of accident for a claim. This, in turn, can impact the amount of claims costs that will affect your WCB premiums. The WCB sets the date of accident for progressive claims arbitrarily, generally based on when a worker first sought medical treatment for their condition. In some cases, a worker’s description of when they first noticed symptoms combined with documentation from first aid logs, will also be used to establish a date of accident. It can be months or even years before a worker needs treatment or time off due to a progressive injury. When there is evidence of a diagnosis, medical reporting or documented symptoms prior to the current need for treatment, the claim may be backdated. If the backdated date of accident is established to be in a prior calendar year, it can reduce the amount of claim costs used to determine WCB premium rates.

Obtaining Medical Documentation

Ensuring that an injured worker provides copies of any medical documentation to the WCB and to you, will assist with proper medical management of claim and help prevent delays in treatment plans, return to work plans and unnecessary costs. Retaining a copy for your records will allow you to review ongoing information regarding an injured worker’s medical status which can allow you to assist with their recovery and be proactive in their return to work.


Reporting an injury to the WCB does not mean a claim will automatically be accepted or that any concerns about the validity of a work related accident will be dismissed. Likewise, withholding the submission of an Employer’s Report does not mean a claim will not be accepted. Filing a fully completed Employer’s’ Report of Accident as soon as possible, including all earnings information even for No Time Loss (NTL) claims, can have many benefits.

Investigating Concerns

It will allow the WCB to review your documentation, note any concerns and initiate investigations while information and details are still fresh. Although the WCB may proceed with the claim as if it were accepted, an employer’s concerns about and objections to a claim must be acknowledged and addressed. If there is an issue, it can be properly looked into, reviewed and resolved before a claim progresses too far.

Provide Benefits

The WCB can proceed with their adjudication of a claim and provide essential benefits to an injured worker in a timely fashion. Ensuring that wage loss benefits are provided and medical treatment is approved as necessary, can be instrumental in getting an injured worker back on the job faster and safer. Delays in treatment and financial hardship can affect an injured worker’s recovery and prolong a claim, and as a result increase claims costs unnecessarily.


A completed form is more efficient for everyone. It will reduce the need for contact from the WCB to gather missing information, taking up your time and/or your organization’s administrative time. It will help ensure that an accurate entitlement decision is made and the associated benefits issued as quickly as possible. Delays in initial entitlement decisions and approval of benefits can contribute to longer recovery times and increased costs.

Even claims that start out as no time loss sometimes end up with a worker needing to be off work for medical treatment, like physiotherapy or surgery, or due to availability of appropriate modified duties and then require a compensation rate to be set. If a worker’s earnings information is provided on the initial report expedites this process and eliminates the need for the WCB to get in contact. Providing earnings information does not mean that benefits will be paid but it does make it easier to transition a claim from no time loss to time loss.

In the end, whenever a worker is injured, adhering to your obligations as an employer is likely the most efficient and effective way of containing and managing claims costs. You can check the WCB Alberta website for more information on what to do when a worker is injured or you can reach us directly during business hours using our chat feature or by phone at 1-844-377-9545. You can also contact us by email at [email protected] or [email protected],  or connect with us on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.

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