Trends and characteristics of compensated occupational cancer in Ontario, Canada, 1937–2003


  • Erin C. Pichora BSc, BEd, MSc,

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Preventive Oncology, Cancer Care Ontario, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    • Division of Preventive Oncology, Cancer Care Ontario, 620 University Ave, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5G 2L7.
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  • Jennifer I. Payne BSc, MSc, PhD

    1. Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    2. Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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In Canada, administrative databases maintained by provincial workers' compensation boards are often the best or the only available data source for describing trends and characteristics of occupational cancer. In Ontario, approximately 75% of the labor force is covered by the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) and allowed cancer claims date back to 1937.


The purpose of this study was to describe WSIB-allowed cancer claims by worker demographics, claim characteristics, year of filing, cancer type, and work exposure measures including workplace agent, occupation and industry.


In total, claims were filed and compensated for one or more malignant neoplasms by, or on behalf of, 3,126 workers between 1937 and 2003.


Results show trends in cancer compensation reflecting changes in the characteristics and prevalence of workers exposed to workplace carcinogens, as well as changes to WSIB adjudication policies over time. Am. J. Ind. Med. 50:980–981, 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.