Document name
Fatalities, Presumption
Document number
PRO 04/2014

Effective date: June 1, 2014

Application: All decisions made on claims on and after the effective date, where a worker is found dead.

Policy subject: Decision making - Principles


To establish guidelines for applying presumptive clauses in fatalities.


Policy section content
Section detail
  1. The WCB has approved POL 04/2014, Fatalities, Presumption. POL 04/2014 establishes guidelines for applying presumptive clauses in fatalities.
  2. If a worker is found dead at work, the following procedure will show WCB staff how to investigate fatalities to determine if Section 29 of The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013 (the “Act”) applies.


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Section detail
  1. Operations staff will follow the “Fatality Adjudication Checklist” when reviewing all fatality claims.
  2. Employer Services will determine if the worker is:
    1. A worker as defined by the Act, and
    2. Working for an employer covered under the Act.
  3. Operations staff will contact the worker’s employer/co-workers. This contact will help Operations staff determine:
    1. How and when the worker was found.
    2. Who found the worker.
    3. When the worker was last seen alive, and
    4. If the worker was in a place at a time the worker had a right to be in the course of their employment (e.g., a worker re-enters a workplace after normal work hours at a time they were not requested or authorized to be there).
  4. Operations staff will find out if an autopsy has been ordered (by the usual contact with the next of kin during the claim’s development).
  5. If an autopsy is ordered, Operations staff will not make claim decisions or provide benefits until they review the worker’s autopsy report. Often it takes three to six months for the WCB to get autopsy reports from the Office of the Chief Coroner.
  6. Operations staff will get the worker’s government issued death certificate from eHealth Saskatchewan’s Vital Statistics registry.
  7. Operations staff should be able to determine if the death arose out of and in the course of employment once they:
    1. Determine the sequence of events that led to the worker’s death.
    2. Gather and review all medical reports related to the death of the worker (i.e., autopsy report, government issued death certificate).
  8. A Medical Officer will review the medical reports related to the death of the worker if Operations staff need help determining if the cause of death proves the death did not arise out of employment.
  9. The customer care facilitator Supervisor or Team Leader will review all fatality claims prior to Operations staff informing the worker’s dependant or next of kin of the claim decision.
  10. Following notification of the worker’s dependant or next of kin, Operations staff will ensure the “Fatality Adjudication Checklist” is complete. Operations staff will sign the checklist and send it to the customer care facilitator Supervisor or Team Leader for review and signature. Once signed, Operations staff will scan the checklist to the claim file.

Policy references

Policy reference content

Section heading

Legislative Authority

Section detail

The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013
Sections 2(1)(l), 2(1)(ii), 20, 27, 29, 94, 115

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Document History

Section detail

(1)    POL and PRO 16/2010, Fatalities, Presumption (effective May 1, 2010 to May 31, 2014).
(2)    POL 10/2002, Fatalities – Presumption (effective January 1, 2003 to April 30, 2010).
(3)    Bill 72, The Workers’ Compensation Amendment Act, 2002.
(3)    POL and PRO 09/1999, Fatalities – Presumption (effective May 17, 1999 to December 31, 2002).
(4)    POL 34/83, Fatalities Presumption Clauses (effective July 7, 1983 to May 16, 1999).

Section heading


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