Highlights of Noteworthy Decisions

Decision 2510 15
G. McCaffrey - S. Sahay - A. Grande
  • Availability for employment (transportation to work)
  • Suitable occupation

A driver suffered a shoulder injury, for which he was granted an 8% NEL award. By the time the worker was capable of returning to modified work, the employer had shut the location where the worker had been working. The employer offered work as a print room associate at a different location. The worker appealed a decision of the Appeals Resolution Officer finding that the modified work offered by the employer was appropriate for the worker.

Board Operational Policy Manual, Document No. 19-03-03, on determining suitable occupation, lists a hierarchy for identifying SO opportunities. An SO with the accident employer in the local labour market is first, followed by an SO with the accident employer in the surrounding area to which the worker may reasonably be expected to commute, followed by SO with new employers.
The location where the worker used to work was about a 15 minute drive from his home. Driving was a major component of the job. The modified work was about a one-hour drive from the worker's home but the job itself did not involve any driving. The medical evidence did not indicate any driving restrictions related to the shoulder injury. What is a reasonable commuting distance will vary depending on the circumstances of the individual case. In this case, the Panel found that the commute was reasonable in the circumstances.
The print room job was appropriate taken in the context of the circumstances of the case. The appeal was dismissed.