Canadian Safety Reporter

November 2018

Focuses on occupational health and safety issues at a strategic level. Designed for employers, HR managers and OHS professionals, it features news, case studies on best practices and practical tips to ensure the safest possible working environment.

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Safety Reporter Canadian www.safety-reporter.com November 2018 Stroke while driving at work deserves workers' compensation: Court Ruptured aneurysm in worker's brain while on sales call initially ruled not related to job, but Court of Appeal finds it happened in the course of employment BY JEFFREY R. SMITH A NEW BRUNSWICK worker who suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm that caused a stroke while he was driving from a sales call has won workers' compensa- tion benefits for the injury. Mike St-Onge was employed as a sales representative for M.P. Industriel, a supplier of safety equipment located in Edmun- ston, N.B. Much of St-Onge's job involved being on the road visit- ing clients who purchased the company's products. On April 14, 2015, St-Onge was driving in his car after a sales call. He started to get a headache, so he decided to drive Worker completes probation, raises safety concerns, gets fired Company claimed a lack of work; termination came after worker raised safety issues BY JEFFREY R. SMITH AN ONTARIO company's firing of a worker who had just completed his probationary period but raised health and safety concerned was a reprisal for raising those concerns, the Ontario Labour Relations Board has ruled. North 44 is a property management company based in Markham Ont., which manages five residential apartment buildings in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. On Dec. 4, 2017, North 44 hired William Thoro- good to be a maintenance technician for its Sault Ste. Marie prop- erties. Thorogood was one of three maintenance technicians for IGNORING REQUEST FOR ERGONOMIC FURNITURE COULD BE DISCRIMINATION Disability discrimination complaint stemming from employee's request for ergonomic furniture has enough merit for a hearing: Tribunal pg. 5 WORKER DEEMED UNEMPLOYABLE, THEN GIVEN SUITABLE OCCUPATION Tribunal sees no reason to take away loss of earnings benefits when no significant change in worker's condition pg. 3 WORKER'S PRE-EXISTING DISABILITY NOT CAUSE OF INJURY FROM FALL AT WORK Employer sought financial relief from workers' compensaiton costs, but tribunal found no link to disability pg. 6 INSIDE NEWS BRIEF Worker was > pg. 4 Credit: Shutterstock/Robert Crum Termination > pg. 2 PM #40065782 FIREFIGHTER WORK DEATHS OFTEN FROM CARDIAC ARREST (Reuters Health) — Most firefighters who die from cardiac arrest turn out to have narrowing of arteries or struc- tural heart damage, a recent study suggests. Despite this obvious risk, research to date hasn't offered a clear picture of why so many firefighters killed on the job die of cardiac arrest rather than from fire-related injuries. Research shows that firefighters are more likely to suffer a cardiac event after fire-fighting versus sta- tion duties, said study leader Denise Smith, director of the First Responder Health and Safety Lab at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY. Re- searchers examined autopsy data from 627 male firefighters, ages 18 to 65, including 276 cardiac cases and 351 trauma cases. Less than one in five cardiac cases were heart attack deaths, Smith said. Instead, 82 percent of those who died had coronary heart disease and car- diomegaly/left ventricular hypertrophy. While the study can't prove whether or how working as a firefighter might make heart disease more likely, several aspects of the job could explain the connection. Exposure to smoke, soot and chemicals in the air, as well as dis- rupted sleep patterns and high levels of occupational stress might all con- tribute to heart problems, Smith noted.

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