Canadian Safety Reporter

April 2017

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 April 2017 WORKER ENTITLED TO COMPENSATION FOR EFFECTS OF ACCIDENT CAUSED BY PRE-EXISTING CONDITION Truck driver denied workers' compensation benefits for seizure, but allowed for injuries pg. 7 EMPLOYER WINS PARTIAL RELIEF FOR WORKER'S WORKPLACE INJURY pg. 3 Degenerative condition in worker's knee didn't contribute accident, but delayed recovery HUSBAND-AND-WIFE TEAM BOTH DISCRIMINATED AGAINST BY EMPLOYER Wife discriminated against because of disability, husband fired because of wife's workers' compensation claim pg. 6 INSIDE To track or not to track? GPS technology is becoming more and more accessible and affordable, but do the benefits outweigh the need for employee privacy? BY MELISSA CAMPEAU IMAGINE A LONE snow-re- moval worker out on a high- way in a remote location in the middle of a blizzard. It's 2 a.m., the truck hits a patch of ice, and there's a crash. A decade ago, that scenario would have been much more alarming. Now, with the prolif- eration of affordable GPS track- ing devices, odds are that work- er's employer could immediately and accurately pinpoint him and his vehicle, and send for help right away. Knowing where employees are at all times is appealing to many employers; in many cases, there are clear safety upsides. Several high-profile legal cases Gradual-onset injury not related to job with lifting Worker's injuries worsened and changed after taking time off BY JEFFREY R. SMITH THE ONTARIO Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal has dismissed the appeal of a worker suffering from pain in her back, neck, and shoulder for a lack of evidence the symptoms were related to her job that included a significant amount of repetitive lifting over several years. The 55-year-old worker was hired by a clothing manufacturing NEWS BRIEF ADULTS NEED TO BE PROTECTED FROM LEAD TOO By Alexandria Bachert (Reuters) — California's public health agency found that more than 6,000 California workers have elevated levels of lead in their blood which could lead to serious health problems, according to KaiserHealth News. Nearly 60 per cent of workers with higher exposures — above 10 micrograms per deciliter of blood — worked in manufacturing for companies that produce batteries, aircraft and aircraft parts, ships, plumbing and pipefitting fixtures, and metal valves. Workers with the highest blood lead levels — 40 micrograms or more per deciliter — primarily worked at shooting ranges or in ammunition manufacturing, gun repair, and firearm instruction, followed by painting and construction. "It doesn't surprise me. This is a huge problem," said Doug Parker, executive director of Worksafe, a worker health and safety advocacy organization based in Oakland. "Clearly, there haven't been ad- equate actions taken""by some employers, he said. Purpose > pg. 4 Credit: Shutterstock/Rawpixel.com Doctor's > pg. 2 PM #40065782

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