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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 1753 17
7/31/2017
L. Petrykowski

  • Consequences of injury
  • Parties (representation) (paralegal) (exceptions) (volunteer representative of a trade union)

The worker suffered a neck and right shoulder injury in 1989, for which the Board granted a 15% pension, increased over the years to 30%. The worker appealed a decision of the Appeals Resolution Officer denying entitlement for a left shoulder injury and cervicogenic headaches, and denying further reassessment of the pension. In a preliminary matter, the Vice-Chair considered whether the worker's representative should be allowed to represent the worker. The representative worked in various leadership positions in the worker's union, including responsibility for workplace insurance claims, until his retirement in 2016. At that time, there were many claims still in progress. The representative was still employed by the union when he started the worker's file. The representative continued to handle a few longstanding cases. He received no remuneration and was not taking on any new cases. The Vice-Chair found that the representative fit squarely within the paralegal licensing exemption in s. 32(2) of By-law 4 under the Law Society Act. The representative was a volunteer representative of a trade union providing services to a member of the union, acting in connection with a workplace issue or dispute in a proceeding before an adjudicative body other than a federal or provincial court. The Vice-Chair permitted the representative to continue to represent the worker for this appeal. On the evidence, the worker did not have entitlement for the left shoulder or for cervicogenic headaches. There was also insufficient evidence to support further reassessment of the pension. The appeal was dismissed.