In order to obtain compensation from a public compensation scheme, an individual must meet several conditions. The situation of a person who gets injured at its workplace is no exception. In such a situation, the worker must demonstrate three aspects in order to be entitled to compensation from the Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (hereinafter, the “CSST”).
First, under section 28 of the Act Respecting Industrial Accidents and Occupational Diseases1 (hereinafter, the “AIAOD“), an injury that happens at the workplace, while the employee is working is presumed to be an employment injury.
To benefit from this presumption, the employee must submit to the CSST a report from a health professional about his injury. The injury must obviously be spontaneous and unpredictable and must result from an accident, as opposed to gross negligence on the part of the worker.
In addition, the employee must demonstrate that the accident occurred at his place of employment. The case law clarifies that this notion is quite broad and includes all the places to which the worker has access to perform his work2.
The third condition is that the event must have occurred in the performance of the work, that is to say, as a direct result of the activities for which the worker is employed. Nonetheless, the accident can also occur in the course of work: while the employee does not perform its main activity, but is completing tasks related to his work. In this case, the important factor is the subordinate relationship that existed between the employee and the employer (this refers to an element of control) when the injury happened.
When the worker is entitled to the presumption of section 28 of the AIAOD, the employer bears the burden of proof and must demonstrate that there was no injury, either in front of the Administrative Review Board of the CSST or in front of the Commission des lésions professionnelles. This presumption is not absolute and the employer may rebut the presumption and prevent compensation.
Written by Mr. Wysocki with the precious collaboration of Sabrina Landry-Bergeron, law student.
1Act Respecting Industrial Accidents and Occupational Diseases, RSQ, c. A-3001
2Boies et CSSS Québec-Nord, 2011 QCCLP 277