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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 1397 16
4/28/2017
R. McCutcheon

  • Disablement (nature of work)
  • Medical report (opinion of treating doctor preferred)

The Board granted the worker entitlement for a right arm injury. The worker appealed a decision of the Appeals Resolution Officer denying entitlement for shoulder and left arm injuries. Modified work provided by the employer after the right arm injury was not suitable for the worker and led to the development of the secondary conditions. The Vice-Chair rejected the submission of the employer that the evidence of the worker's treating doctors was partial and should be accorded less weight. The Vice-Chair noted that these doctors had the benefit of examining the worker and following the course of her condition following the injury. Their reports should be accorded significant weight. Only in rare circumstances are treating doctors found to have overstepped the boundaries and lost their objectivity to such a degree that they may be seen as advocates for their patients. There must be something concrete to indicate that a treating doctor's objectivity has been compromised. In this case, the Vice-Chair found that the reporting from the treating doctors was reliable. The reports were supported by clear reasons and were provided in a balanced manner. The Vice-Chair gave little weight to employer in-house medical consultant to the employer's representative. His reports lacked independence and relied upon information regarding the worker's job duties that the Vice-Chair rejected. The appeal was allowed.