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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 2718 18
10/11/2018
G. Dee

  • Right to sue
  • Worker (learner)

The defendants in a civil case applied to determine whether the plaintiff's right of action was taken away. The issue was whether the plaintiff was a learner at the time of the accident and, thus, a worker within the WSIA.
The corporate defendant had a contract to deliver logs over private logging roads to a mill. The plaintiff and the corporate defendant had entered into an agreement whereby the plaintiff would gain experience relevant to driving a tractor-trailer on logging roads and the corporate defendant would assist the plaintiff in obtaining his AZ licence and then employ the plaintiff as a driver. The plaintiff was to gain his experience by being a passenger in the corporate defendant's truck and assisting in some of the tasks associated with driving and delivering logs. By the time of the accident, the plaintiff had passed the medical and written portions of his AZ exam and could drive a truck when it did not have a load and when he was accompanied by a licenced driver. The plaintiff was not being paid by the corporate defendant while he was still training.
The plaintiff was injured when he fell off the trailer that was hauling logs to a mill. The truck was parked at the time, and the plaintiff was re-orienting logs on the trailer.
The Vice-Chair found that the plaintiff was a learner and, thus, a worker within the WSIA. His right of action was taken away.