Trends and Characteristics of Compensated Occupational Cancer in Ontario, Canada, 1937-2003

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

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