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WCB on the Farm

In January 2009, the Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba (WCB) extended coverage to the agriculture industry, which means it is mandatory for agricultural employers to purchase coverage for their employees. Manitoba farmers need to register with WCB if they hire non-family workers. 
Farm owners who employ family members are exempt but can purchase optional coverage that provides wage-loss payments, medical and rehabilitation services. Owners, including sole proprietors, partners and corporate directors, can purchase personal coverage. Rates vary depending on the farm enterprise. Farms may be able to decrease their rate, based on claims history and injury prevention programs.

The benefits of registering with WCB include protection from lawsuits for work-related injuries and illnesses, access to consulting services, and prevention and return to work programs. WCB-registered businesses can also check sub-contractors coming to work on the farm have WCB coverage. This is important to know because the farm operation could be held responsible for paying WCB coverage if the sub-contractor is hurt on the farm and deemed a worker.

If a worker is injured and makes a claim and the farm isn’t registered with WCB, the worker will still receive wage replacement benefits and healthcare treatments. The farm will be assessed retroactively and may have to pay to cover those uninsured years, and could also be fined.

Register online or call 1-800-362-3340, extension 4505. Learn more about safety and health issues specific to agriculture, go to WCB’s SAFE Farm website.

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