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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 2809 18
10/2/2018
S. Peckover

  • White finger disease
  • Second Injury and Enhancement Fund {SIEF} (preexisting condition)
  • Vibrations (tools)
  • Board Directives and Guidelines (SIEF) (preexisting condition) (vibratory tools)

The Board granted the worker entitlement for hand-arm vibration syndrome on a disablement basis as a result of use of vibratory tools. The Board granted the employer 63% SIEF relief. The employer appealed denial of an increase in the SIEF relief.
Board Operational Policy Manual, Document No. 14-05-03, on Second Injury and Enhancement Fund, has a specific provision regarding vibration-induced white finger disease. It provides that, industries involving vibratory hazards, the employer is charged based on the ratio between the history of prior employment exposure and the years of continuous employment exposure, with the balance being charged to the SIEF on the premise that prior exposure to high frequency, rapid acceleration or vibratory tools contributes to the development of the disease.
The worker had a 16-year history of exposure to vibratory tools. Of those 16 years, the last six years were with the accident employer. The ratio attributable to the accident employer was correctly set at 37%, and the employer was correctly granted 63% SIEF relief.
The appeal was dismissed.