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Established in 1985, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal (WSIAT) is the final level of appeal to which workers and employers may bring disputes concerning workplace safety and insurance matters in Ontario. WSIAT has always been separate from and independent of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.

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  Decision 2046 14
2/20/2015
W. Sutton

  • Loss of earnings {LOE} (older worker)
  • Work transition plan (older worker)
  • Board Directives and Guidelines (work transition plan) (older worker)

The Board granted entitlement to a welder for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in 2010. He was unable to return to work as a welder. He was referred for WT services in 2011. At that time, he was 59 years old. He chose the older worker option, which involved a self-directed 12-month transition plan. The worker wanted to work in his son's landscaping business. The Board identified an SO of heavy equipment operator (so that he could operate a backhoe). The worker appealed a decision of the Appeals Resolution Officer confirming the SO of heavy equipment operator. According to Board policy, the older worker option involves participating in a WT plan aimed at achieving the SO or choosing a 12-month transition plan focused on self-directed work reintegration to achieve the SO. This self-directed option is chosen in conjunction with the irrevocable non-review option for LOE benefits. The Vice-Chair reviewed Tribunal decisions and noted that the non-reviewable aspect of the policy relates directly to the LOE benefits, which is subject to recalculation at the end of the 12-month period and based on the SO. The Vice-Chair found that the SO of heavy equipment operator was not appropriate for the worker, considering his shortness of breath which would have an impact particularly on the maintenance functions of the duties of a heavy equipment operator. The appeal was allowed. The SO was not appropriate. The worker's transition plan was rescinded and the matter referred back to the Board for further adjudication with respect to WT services and plans, including entitlement to LOE benefits.