This spring, the Ontario government passed new health and safety legislation that improves first responders’ access to workers’ compensation when afflicted with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The labour movement had been calling for these changes that reflect the true sacrifice of first responders’ public service.
Under the Supporting Ontario’s First Repsonders Act, first responders diagnosed with PTSD by a psychiatrist or psychologist will have their WSIB claims expedited. Additionally, unlike in the past, first responders will not need to demonstrate the relationship between PTSD and a specific work-related event.
This new legislation applies to police officers, firefighters, paramedics, certain workers in correctional institutions and secure youth justice facilities, dispatchers of police, firefighter and ambulance services, and emergency response teams.