The injured workers' movements in Ontario, 1900-2005

Principal Investigator: Robert Storey

Since its inception the workers' compensation system in Ontario has experienced varying levels of conflict with injured workers who have felt that their claims were not handled fairly or with care and respect. In response, injured workers have acted individually to resolve their own issues and collectively to reform the system.

This project seeks to uncover and analyze the history of these conflicts and those struggles. The rationale and importance of this focus evolves from the understanding that workers' compensation legislation-from the first modern act passed in Ontario in 1915 to the dramatic changes of the 1990s-would not have taken the forms that it did without the concerted efforts, protests, and the successes achieved by injured workers and their organizations.

The methodology of this project will involve the analyses of primary historical documents, secondary materials, and in-depth interviews with approximately 100 injured workers and their legal advocates from centres across the province.

This research will extend over five years with publications appearing on an annual basis.

History & social/political movements

Phase 1 Projects

The injured workers' movement in Ontario 1900-2005

Medical science and practice within the Ontario Workers' Compensation Board, 1960-1995

Phase 2 Projects

Injured workers and the labour movement

Injured workers and the right to appeal