Appendix D – Handling accidents in the workplace (04/2023)
Responsibilities for reporting and handling an accident, incident or hazardous occurrence in the workplace for field personnel
This procedure for handling accidents in the workplace does not apply to members of the public.
As the RO and the employer, you are legally responsible for ensuring the safety of the workplaces of the field personnel (referred to in this text as "worker") working in local EC offices and at polling places.
In order to do so, you have an obligation to identify any hazards that create a risk of accident or injury in these workplaces, and then take steps to minimize that risk if possible. Hazards can also include things that create a risk of workplace violence and harassment. If one of your workers is injured in an accident related to their work, you have an obligation to ensure that the workplace accident is handled properly, including reporting it in a timely manner.
Under the Government Employee Compensation Act (GECA), workers are eligible for compensation if they are injured in an accident related to their employment, or if they become disabled due their work.
If one of your workers seeks compensation for an injury or disability related to their work, their claim will be decided by the competent provincial workers' compensation authority in the province where you and they work. footnote 1 In assessing a claim, this authority determines whether the worker was injured in an accident arising out of and in the course of their employment, or whether they became disabled because of an industrial disease due to the nature of their employment (Subsection 4(1) of the GECA).
The following terms are understood by Elections Canada as follows:
- Accident: Includes wilful and intentional acts by someone other than the worker, and unexpected and unintentional incidents.
- Compensation: Includes medical and hospital expenses and any other benefits, expenses or allowances that are authorized by the law of the province where the worker is usually employed respecting compensation for workers and the dependants of deceased workers.
- Discrimination: Negative treatment, or treatment that results in an obstacle or barrier, that is linked to the person's race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, family status, genetic characteristics, disability, or pardoned conviction or suspended criminal record. It includes failing to accommodate someone's needs linked to the above-mentioned characteristics.
- Harassment: Repeated or serious unwelcome behaviour, including comments, gestures, and physical contact. It includes acts that can reasonably be expected to offend or humiliate a person. It can include general acts not directed at a particular person if they are repetitive and unwelcome enough to create a hostile work environment. It generally involves a pattern of repeated behaviour, but one incident can be sufficient if it is serious enough.
- Injury: Damage done to a person in the physical or emotional sense. A disabling injury is any workplace injury or occupational disease that results in time loss or modified duties. It may be temporary (e.g., a sprained wrist) or permanent (e.g., loss of a limb) depending on whether the field personnel will recover from it or not.
- Violence: Includes both use of force and abuse resulting in property damage or physical or psychological injury.
You must report all workplace accidents to the OCIU, either:
- by email at upio-ociu @elections.ca (Subject line: "Workplace accident") or
- by phone via the FSN at 1-888-677-0301.
Field personnel is required to immediately advise you (their employer), verbally or in writing, if any of the following occurs:
- Any injury to themselves or others that has occurred in the course of their employment
- Anything else in the workplace which could constitute a risk of injury, a risk to the health or safety of themselves or their co-workers, or a risk factor for workplace violence or harassment
- An incident of workplace violence or harassment or a "near miss"
- Discrimination, whether they experienced or observed it
Upon learning of such events, you must immediately look into the situation or delegate this task to a qualified person, then take the necessary steps to prevent future occurrences.
When reporting any of the above situations to OCIU, be sure to provide any documentation the worker may have. The OCIU will support you in handling workplace accidents, complaints and incidents in the office or at the polls and will file the reports to the appropriate health and safety authorities.
Field personnel is required to report all injuries and incidents, regardless of the severity, to you as soon as the event occurs and before leaving their workplace. Injuries can evolve into more serious medical issues; if they fail to report the initial injury when it happens, they may have difficulties making their claim for compensation.
Advise workers of the locations of the defibrillators in the polling places and/or the RO's or AARO's office, if applicable.
Immediately after an accident occurs, you (or your designated person) must do the following:
- Secure the scene as deemed necessary by:
- having barriers installed
- turning off hazardous machinery (such as shredders)
- telling onlookers to leave to ensure their safety
- requesting that the harassing person to leave the premises, if applicable (you must approve this)
- taking any other measures required to secure the office or workplace
- Provide first aid or obtain medical treatment if required. Call 911 if needed.
- Arrange transportation if required (ambulance, taxi, etc.) to a medical facility, and appoint someone to accompany the injured worker. Remind the accompanying worker to ask for a "medical statement" for potential claims.
- Fill out the Annex to the Hazardous Occurrence Investigation Report (EC 10014) if the incident or injury occurred at the RO or AARO office. Fill out an Incident Report (EC 10051) if the incident or injury occurred at a polling place. In either case, you must record the following information:
- Date, time and place of occurrence
- Name and contact information of the injured individual
- Detailed description and cause of injury or incident
- Name and contact information of witnesses, if any
The forms must be filled out regardless of the medical treatment/first aid provided, and a scanned copy must be sent to OCIU by email.
The completed forms are used to document workplace accidents and injuries, and incidents of harassment and discrimination. All findings (see step 6 below) must be included with the reports should there be a disabling injury to the worker, or should the worker experience an incident related to harassment or discrimination.
Within 24 hours of the accident, you (or your designated person) must do the following:
Begin gathering the facts. Look into the matters promptly to take the appropriate measures to resolve the issue, and to implement measures to be taken in the future. Fact gathering could include any or all of the following, where possible: speaking to the person who reported the incident; speaking to the person named by the injured worker (separately) to get their version; speaking to witnesses (if any); taking notes of these meetings (and dating/timing them); and gathering copies of any relevant document or messages (if any).
If it is a case of harassment or discrimination, the person implicated must not look into the allegations.
Report the case to OCIU (How to reach us).
Should the worker request compensation, a medical certificate must be provided in some cases to file a claim.
If there is a serious accident or injury – within 24 hours:
In the event of a serious or fatal accident, contact OCIU immediately.
A serious or fatal accident includes any of the following:
- The death of a worker (even if death appears to be from natural causes)
- A permanent disabling injury inflicted to a worker or a temporary disabling injury inflicted to two or more workers, arising from the same occurrence
- The permanent impairment of a body function of a worker
- An explosion
- Damage to a boiler or pressure vessel that results in fire or rupture of the boiler or pressure vessel
- Any damage to an elevating device that renders it unserviceable, or a free fall of an elevating device
Within 24 hours of the accident, the following must happen:
- The employee must consult a physician and be provided with the supporting documentation describing the nature and extent of the injuries (to potentially receive compensation) if the worker:
- is absent from work the day after the accident
- had their daily salary reduced
- is receiving health care treatment (other than first aid)
The "medical statement" must be completed on the form provided by the provincial worker's compensation authority in the province/territory in which the worker is usually employed. This statement may be requested in certain cases of compensation claims. Contact OCIU for the appropriate form and return it to them once properly completed and signed. Do not send it back directly to the provincial worker's compensation authority.
The board or commission will handle the compensation claim and determine whether the injury or illness is work-related and the amount of benefits to be provided.
Once you complete the initial reporting requirements, you will not be required to defend or otherwise participate in any claim before the provincial worker's compensation authority. If you have concerns about this process, are asked to participate further, or if you receive a copy of a decision about the claim, please contact the OCIU.
Within 3 days of the accident:
- Fill out, sign and return by email to OCIU the Employer's Report of Injury/Illness for the province or territory in which the worker normally carries out his duties.
Within 14 days of the accident:
- Contact the worker regularly to keep informed of their status and progress.
OCIU may contact you or the injured worker to gather further information.
Where the occurrence is an accident involving a motor vehicle on a public road, and this accident is under police investigation, contact the appropriate local authorities to obtain a copy of the accident report.
Elections Canada resources
- Operations Complaints & Incidents Unit (OCIU)
Telephone: 1-888-677-0301 (FSN General support -> OCIU)
- Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety
For the list of agencies across Canada that are responsible for worker's compensation in the federal, provincial and territorial jurisdictions
Return to source 1 Visit the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety website for the list of provincial boards across Canada.