Workers' Compensation Safety Board of Nova Scotia

Return-to-Work Team

Creating a successful return-to-work program requires a team effort. Strong partnerships must be at the heart of any program, and each partner must have a clear understanding of their role and responsibilities. When all partners work together and share their knowledge and expertise, a return-to-work program will run smoothly and efficiently.

Return-to-work partners include:

  • Employers 
  • Workers 
  • WCB case worker(s) and case management team 
  • WCB relationship manager and workplace consultant 
  • Health care providers 
  • Union representatives (if applicable)

The following are some of the responsibilities for employers, workers, the WCB case worker and the health care providers.

Employers

  • Provide immediate and appropriate transportation for an injured worker to obtain health care at the time of injury. 
  • Notify the WCB of an injury that requires medical attention and provide information as requested within 5 days of becoming aware of the injury.  Injury reports can be filed online through MyAccount
  • Notify the WCB immediately if contesting a claim.  This can be noted on the WCB Injury Report.
  • Send a worker with a sprain or strain injury to a Tiered Services Provider for an assessment.  This assessment is used to determine if the worker's injury is actually a sprain or strain, if the worker can return to their regular job right away, and whether treatment is required.  If the worker cannot return to their eligible job right away, the Tiered Services Provider completes a Physical Abilities Report.  This report is used to determine what transitional duties the worker can safely perform. 
  • Maintain contact with the injured worker.  
  • Offer meaningful transitional duties or other suitable work if a worker is unable to return to their original job. 
  • Allow an injured worker to make a claim and not penalize them for doing so. 
  • Be responsible for workers’ compensation costs and do not seek any contribution to those costs from a worker. 
  • Communicate and collaborate with all return-to-work partners.

Workers

  • Notify your employer immediately of any close call incidents that could have resulted in an injury, so your employer can fix the hazards and protect workers. 
  • Notify your employer immediately if you are injured on the job. 
  • Provide the WCB with complete, accurate and timely information. 
  • Take all reasonable steps to reduce or eliminate any permanent impairment or loss of earnings resulting from an injury. 
  • Participate in any medical aid or health care treatment to promote recovery. 
  • Notify the WCB immediately of any change that may affect a claim, including return to work.  
  • Undergo a health care assessment or medical examination, if requested by you, the WCB, or the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Tribunal (WCAT) 
  • Actively participate and cooperate in the return-to-work program.
  • Adhere to the Workers' Compensation Act of Nova Scotia and WCB policies

The WCB Case Worker

  • Adhere to the Workers’ Compensation Act of Nova Scotia and WCB policies
  • Objectively and fairly weigh evidence and make claim decisions in a timely manner. 
  • Administer health care and earnings replacement benefits. 
  • Assist in the development and management of return-to-work plans. 
  • Coordinate and monitor the success of required health care and rehabilitation services. 
  • Communicate and collaborate with all parties involved in the return-to-work planning process. 
  • Manage worker and employer expectations.

Health Care Service Providers

  • Provide services to injured workers to assist with their recovery and help them safely return to work in a timely manner. 
  • Identify issues and barriers influencing return-to-work plans and make recommendations to address these issues. 
  • Manage the injured worker’s recovery expectations. 
  • Communicate and collaborate with all parties involved in the return-to-work process as required.