Hearing Process

Within fourteen days of accepting your Request for Review application, the CSR will contact you with the date, time, and location of your hearing. You should be prepared to proceed with your hearing when contacted. A letter confirming this information will follow. The CSR will forward a copy of the file to you, your representative and the accident employer (if applicable).

Attendance at the Hearing

At the hearing you may represent yourself or be represented by someone else such as lawyer, union representative, MHA, friend, etc. WHSCRD hearings are regularly held in St. John’s, Gander, Grand Falls-Windsor, Corner Brook, Happy Valley-Goose Bay, and Labrador City.

The Review Commissioner may also request the attendance of any person who he or she feels is necessary to assist in ensuring a fair hearing and decision.

WHSCRD hearings are very informal and usually last between 1-3 hours, depending on the complexity of the issue. Attending the review hearing will be a Review Commissioner from the WHSCRD, the worker and/or their representative, and the employer and/or their representative (if they choose to attend). A representative from WorkplaceNL may appear also if they believe it is necessary.

When a party cannot or chooses not to attend the hearing, the Review Commissioner upon request from the applicant may proceed to conduct a full review of the file and hear from any other parties who wish to attend.

Evidence

The WHSCRD will not accept new evidence at the review hearing that has not already been reviewed by WorkplaceNL.

Individuals who have new evidence must submit this evidence (i.e. medical reports or affidavits) to the Internal Review Division of WorkplaceNL for review as this new evidence may change the previous decision of WorkplaceNL.

Witnesses

A Review Commissioner may question any witnesses bringing evidence to a case. The only witnesses that should be called to testify at the hearing are those who have already provided written evidence to WorkplaceNL on the claim. For example, you cannot bring a physician unless he/she has already provided WorkplaceNL with a medical report prior to the Internal Review decision.

WHSCRD must be provided with written notice of the witnesses being called, no less than two weeks before the hearing.

A party can request a subpoena from WHSCRD to ensure the attendance of a witness. The party requesting the subpoena must supply the WHSCRD with the name and address of the person(s) they wish to subpoena.

WHSCRD will issue the subpoena but the party requesting the subpoena is responsible for serving it along with any cost associated with its service.

Rescheduling or Postponing a Hearing

Requests for postponements or rescheduling of hearings are only granted in unusual circumstances. You should be ready to start your hearing on the scheduled date. Any request to postpone or reschedule a hearing must be made in writing to WHSCRD explaining the reasons why a postponement or rescheduling is required.

The Decision

The Review Commissioner will provide you with a written decision on your claim approximately four weeks after the hearing. Information about your decision will not be released before the final decision is rendered.

If a decision is in your favour, you must contact WorkplaceNL for action on that decision. If your review is denied, your only other recourse is an Originating Application to the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador.

You can apply in writing to the Chief Review Commissioner for a reconsideration of a decision within thirty days of the decision being issued by the WHSCRD. For Further information regarding the reconsideration process, please contact the WHSCRD office.

If you would like to view your decision when it becomes available, you can do this on the Decision Search System (DSS).