Canadian Safety Reporter - sample

February 2019

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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February 2019 | News Back strain at work likely aggravated pre-existing condition WEBINARS Interested in learning more about safety and HR issues directly from the experts? Check out the Canada Professional Development Centre's live and on-demand webinars discussing topics such as Ontario's sexual violence and harassment plan act, chemicals in the workplace, and fall protection. Visit for more information. with a lumbar strain and a small disc herniation. The clinic rec- ommended therapy and a reas- sessment if he couldn't return to work. In December, the appliance company confirmed it couldn't provide suitable modified work on a permanent basis, so the worker was referred to work transition services. He was en- rolled in academic upgrading for a suitable occupation of elec- tronics assemblers, fabricators, inspectors and testers. The WSIB granted the worker a non-economic loss award of 5.25 per cent for residual impair- ment of his lumbar spine, but the worker felt his injury warranted more. He appealed and an ap- peals resolution officer deter- mined the worker's pre-existing degenerative changes contribut- ed to his lower back impairment, but were of moderate severity. The officer increased the work- er's non-economic loss award to 14 per cent, but he still didn't receive benefits for the period when he tried to return work in 2014. In early 2016, the work transi- tion services were closed and the worker returned to work with the wholesale appliance compa- ny, but at a wage loss due to mod- ified duties. The WSIB granted him partial loss-of-earnings benefits to make up the differ- ence between his new wages and his pre-accident earnings. The tribunal found that the various medical reports indicat- ed that the worker's symptoms were worse after the workplace accident and the appeals reso- lution officer agreed with the fact the accident aggravated the worker's condition. The tribu- nal noted that the worker didn't experience any back pain prior to the workplace accident, but afterwards suffered from per- sistent pain and episodes of sci- atica. Condition aggravated by workplace injury The tribunal noted that the WSIB medical consultant's find- ings — which the appeals resolu- tion officer used in his decision — found the worker's condi- tion wasn't compatible with the mechanism of injury, but the back strain suffered at work likely aggravated that condition. This was enough to warrant en- titlement to benefits for aggrava- tion of the worker's underlying degenerative condition, said the tribunal. The tribunal found that the worker was not capable of re- turning to work on April 24, 2014, the date that was recom- mended by the WSIB medical assessment, and the appliance company didn't have modified duties until the worker actually returned on May 26, 2014. As a result, the worker was entitled to loss-of-earnings benefits from the time he stopped receiving benefits on April 24, 2014, and the date he stopped working be- cause of his recurrence of back pain on June 18, 2014, less any employment earnings for that period. For more information see: • Decision No. 1517/18, 2018 CarswellOnt 19440 (Ont. Workplace Safety & Appeals Trib.). Workers' compensation < pg. 6 ©2019 Thomson Reuters Canada Ltd ISBN/ISSN: 978-0-7798-2810-4 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the written permission of the publisher (Thomson Reuters, Media Solutions, Canada). Canadian Safety Reporter is part of the Canadian HR Reporter group of publications: • Canadian HR Reporter — • Canadian Occupational Safety magazine — • Canadian Payroll Reporter — • Canadian Employment Law Today — • Canadian Labour Reporter — • Canadian Safety Reporter — Safety Reporter Canadian Published 12 times a year by Thomson Reuters Canada Ltd. Subscription rate: $139 per year Customer Service Tel: (416) 609-3800 (Toronto) (800) 387-5164 (outside Toronto) E-mail: Website: One Corporate Plaza 2075 Kennedy Road Toronto, Ontario, Canada M1T 3V4 Director, Media Solutions, Canada Karen Lorimer Publisher/Editor-in-Chief Todd Humber Lead Editor Jeffrey R. Smith Marketing & Audience Development Manager Robert Symes (416) 649-9551 Circulation Co-ordinator Keith Fulford (416) 649-9585 Sales Manager Paul Burton (416) 649-9928 e worker didn't experience any back pain prior to the workplace accident, but afterwards suff ered from persistent pain and sciatica.

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