“I have enjoyed the opportunity to help craft practical and reasonable approaches to accommodation and return-to-work issues and to problem-solve in appeals and mediations.”
Chris James, Workers’ Compensation Consultant and Lawyer, was honoured this year with the OBA Ron Ellis Award for Excellence in Workers' Compensation Law for his outstanding leadership and contributions to the field. Find out what motivates him and how he is making a meaningful difference in this candid Q&A.
- Who or what inspires you most in your career?
I have been most inspired by the clients that I have been able to work with over the years. I have been fortunate to have worked at School Boards’ Co-operative Inc (SBCI) for 22 years assisting health and safety officers, disability managers and human resources staff at school boards. I am often asked for advice and guidance in complicated WSIB cases. I have enjoyed the opportunity to help craft practical and reasonable approaches to accommodation and return-to-work issues and to problem-solve in appeals and mediations. I have really appreciated the efforts of school board staff who work hard to try to do the right thing and be fair in their dealings with their employees.
- What does a good day, or success, look like for you in your work?
A success in my work is when an employee is able to return to productive work with a school board following a WSIB injury or illness. I enjoy helping to develop return-to-work plans that address an individual’s need for accommodation and allow the employee to maintain their connection to the workplace and restore their pre-injury level of earnings.