Skip to main content

Work accident

What is a work accident? It is a sudden, unexpected event that occurs at work and results in injury or illness to the workers involved.

In the event of a work accident, the worker may be entitled to benefits and services such as medical aid or rehabilitation if they need it and their claim is accepted. They must file a formal claim by completing the Worker's claim form within 6 months of the accident.

In the event of a non–work-related accident, if the worker has to take time off work, their employment relationship is protected.

Criteria for a work accident

1. Accidental event

An accidental event occurs suddenly and unexpectedly. It may be caused, for example, by actions that require a sustained and unusual effort on the part of the worker to perform certain tasks.

To be recognized as a work accident, the event must occur while the worker is doing:

  • the tasks for which they are employed. The event is then said to arise out of their work. For example, a welder who is welding a piece of metal and gets a chip in their eye.


  • while the worker is doing tasks other than those they normally do, but the tasks are still related to their work. For example, a mechanic who falls while helping a coworker replace a garage sign. In this case, the event is said to occur in the course of their work. At the time of the accident, the worker must be on duty with their employer.

2. Presence of an employment injury

To be recognized as a work accident, the event must have resulted in an employment injury, that is, an injury or an illness diagnosed by a physician. There must be a causal relationship between the accident and the injury, not just a coincidence.

In the case of a non-work-related accident, if the worker has to take time off work, his or her employment relationship is protected.

Online service for workers

La Réclamation du travailleur (Worker's claim) is a service available from MonEspace CNESST that allows you to claim compensation or reimbursement. By using this service, your file can be processed more quickly.

The CNESST will inform you by email of the status of your file. You will be asked to consult messages and documents placed in this secure space.

Fill in the Worker’s claim

Laws and regulations

Help us improve our website

Was the information on this page helpful to you?
We will use your comments to improve the information.
Avoid entering personal or file-related information. Please note that you will not receive a reply.
Any questions about a file? Use our online inquiry service.  
Would you like to file a complaint? Consult our Complaints and recourses section.