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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 812 18
7/9/2018
K. Jepson - M. Lipton - J. Crocker

  • Available employment
  • Work transition plan (adequacy of program)

A worker in the forestry industry suffered a wrist injury in February 2013, for which the Board granted the worker a 4.5% NEL award. In Decision No. 2255/17, the Tribunal found that the employer was entitled to 50% SIEF relief.
The Board identified a SEB as a production supervisor and granted LOE benefits based on deemed earnings in the SEB. The worker appealed.
The LMR program consisted of eight weeks of training focused on computer use, followed by two weeks of job search assistance. There was no technical training specific to any production facility or production process. The Panel found that the worker was unlikely to find employment in the SEB. The worker's experience as a supervisor was for two years in a pulp and paper mill, a supervisory role he obtained by working his way up through the company. His experience was specific to the pulp and paper industry, and may not be transferable to other industry such as mining. Further, the worker lived in a small, fairly remote town in northern Ontario, where there are relatively few production facilities. The worker had applied for all of the relatively few production supervisor positions identified in the job search assistance program but was unsuccessful in even getting an interview.
Board policy indicates that relocation is an option that may be considered when an SO is not available in the local labour market. The Panel noted that the Board did not offer relocation services in this case.
The Panel concluded that the SEB of production supervisor was not reasonably available in this case. The worker's activities constituted reasonable self-directed LMR activities. The worker was entitled to full LOE benefits, taking into account earnings during several periods of employment.
The appeal was allowed.