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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 3451 18
12/13/2018
B. Kalvin - C. Sacco - I. Thompson

  • Firefighter
  • Lymphoma (non-Hodgkin's)
  • Presumptions (firefighter)

The worker worked for a manufacturer of powdered paint from 1989 to 1992. From 1995 to 2013, he worked as a full-time firefighter. He was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2013. The worker appealed a decision of the Appeals Resolution Officer denying entitlement for the non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
There is a presumption regarding firefighters with cancer. The Board denied entitlement, finding that the worker did not meet the regulation and Board policy requirement for the presumption of a minimum employment duration of 20 years.
The Panel noted that the policy provides that, if the presumption does not apply, the adjudicator determines the claim on the individual merits. In this case, the worker had 18 years of employment as a firefighter. The only medical reports on file discussing etiology of the worker's disease suggested that occupation exposure was a significant factor. The reports referred to the worker's exposure with his previous employer, one noting that additional exposure from organic solvents was an important consideration, and the other noting a strong case that the two occupations and cumulative exposure contributed significantly to the disease.
The appeal was allowed.