On November 29 and 30, 2012, the Institute for Work & Health (IWH) hosted the International Symposium on the Challenges of Workplace Injury Prevention through Financial Incentives. More than 180 researchers, students, policy-makers, members of the injured worker community, employer representatives, worker representatives and other stakeholders—primarily from Ontario, but also from other parts of Canada, the United States, Europe, Australia and New Zealand—came together in Toronto to participate in the symposium. The aim was to provide a forum to discuss the social, economic and policy implications of using financial incentives as a mechanism for preventing workplace injuries.

The symposium was organized and co-hosted by IWH’s Dr. Emile Tompa and Dr. Ellen MacEachen.

Emile Tompa

Dr. Emile Tompa is a labour and health economist and a scientist at the Institute for Work & Health. He holds appointments as an associate professor in the Department of Economics at McMaster University, an assistant professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, and a mentor with the CIHR Strategic Training Program in Work Disability Prevention, also at the University of Toronto. He is on the editorial board of the Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation. Tompa holds an MBA from the University of British Columbia, an MA in economics from the University of Toronto, and a PhD in economics from McMaster University.

Ellen MacEachen

Dr. Ellen MacEachen is a scientist at the Institute for Work & Health. She holds appointments as an associate professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, a mentor with the CIHR Strategic Training Program in Work Disability Prevention, and an academic fellow with the Centre for Critical Qualitative Enquiry, all at the University of Toronto. She is an associate editor with the Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation and past-president of the Canadian Association for Research on Work and Health. MacEachen has an MSc in rehabilitation science from Queen’s University and a PhD in public health from the University of Toronto.

To view or download presentation slidecasts, podcasts and/or slides, as available, click on the title of interest below.

Keynote presentations

Experience rating: Findings and recommendations of “Funding Fairness” — Ontario WSIB funding review (Harry Arthurs)

Reconsidering truisms: The case of experience rating (Alan Clayton)

Employer and worker perspectives on financial incentives (Marion Endicott and John Macnamara)

The limits of influence? Using leverage in business relations to incentivise good practice in health and safety management (David Walters)

Experience rating: Take your medicine or find a new prescription? (Les Boden)

Reflections on workers' compensation and occupational health and safety (Terence G. Ison)

Concurrent Sessions

Trends and costs over time

Comparison of workers' compensation experience rating programs in the long-term care sectors in Ontario and British Columbia (Cam Mustard)

Examining the relationship between theory-driven policies and allowed lost-time back claims in workers’ compensation: A system dynamics model (Jessica Wong)

Questioning the numbers: Practices and policies that hide the true experience in workers’ compensation “experience rating” (Mike Wright)

Incentives, behaviours and outcomes

What can we learn about prevention incentives from behavioural economics? (Marianne Levitsky)

Workers’ compensation financial incentives (Xuguang Guo)

Workers’ compensation experience rating and return to work (Seth Seabury)

Types and extent of incentives

Occupational disease and experience rating: A New Zealand case study (Hazel Armstrong)

Experience rating in the Quebec workers’ compensation system (Katherine Lippel)

The costs of occupational injuries and diseases in Quebec, 2005–2007 (Martin Lebeau)

Evidence synthesis: Opening up avenues of inquiry

Lived experience of the harmful effects of experience rating (Marion Endicott)

Financial incentives in workers’ compensation: An analysis of the experience rating program in Ontario, Canada (Emile Tompa)

A critical review of literature on experience rating in workers’ compensation systems (Liz Mansfield)

Experience rating and workplace behaviour

Lived experiences of experience rating in Ontario (The Women of Inspiration)

Financial incentives, injury prevention and return to work in the unionized electrical construction sector (Agnieszka Kosny)

Workers’ compensation experience rating rules and the danger to workers’ safety in the temporary work agency sector (Ellen MacEachen)

Experience rating design: The source of some problems

Employer financial incentive programs: Newfoundland and Labrador’s experience (Brenda Greenslade)

Reflections on experience rating: An Australian perspective (Kevin Purse)

Our health is not (supposed to be) for sale: What’s the cost and for whom? (Dorothy Wigmore)

Alternative financial incentive programs

The impact of experience rating on small employers: Would lowering the threshold for experience rating improve safety? (Frank Neuhauser)

Funding a compensation system: A labour point of view (Jean Dussault)

The importance of incentives in the Safety Group program: A sponsor’s perspective (Sandro Perruzza)

Ex-ante and ex-post incentives of disability insurance experience rating: The case of The Netherlands (Pierre Koning)

Financial incentives for job retention: An analytical framework applied in three countries (Peter Brouwer)

Global sustainability reporting: Health and safety metrics around the globe (Peter Sturm)