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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 608 15
7/2/2015
J. Dimovski - E. Tracey - J. Crocker

  • Board Directives and Guidelines (horseplay)
  • In the course of employment (horseplay)
  • Misconduct

The worker suffered a fractured ankle on a job placement that was due to end the next day. The worker appealed a decision of the Appeals Resolution Officer denying entitlement for the accident. The worker claimed that he suffered the injury when he fell from a ladder while attempting to remove a box from a shelf. The employer claimed that the worker followed other workers in jumping off shelving into a pile of boxes filled with plastic bags to celebrate the end of the placement. The employer also stated that the worker had been restricted from working in the warehouse and had been assigned to duties in an office because of immaturity and potential risk to himself and others. Even if the Panel accepted the employer's version of events as accurate, the worker still had entitlement for the accident. By the employer's version of events, the worker was engaged in horseplay by jumping off the shelves, which could potentially have taken the worker out of the course of employment. However, evidence indicated that the activity was condoned and even initiated by the employer's supervisor. Further, the supervisor was aware that the worker was not permitted in the warehouse but did not order the worker to leave. Rather, while walking away, the supervisor watched the worker jump from the shelves about three times before the worker limped away. In the circumstances, the injury was not attributed solely to serious and wilful misconduct on the part of the worker. The worker had entitlement for the accident. The appeal was allowed.