Highlights of Noteworthy Decisions

Decision 1301 19
29/07/2019
G. Dee
  • Second Injury and Enhancement Fund {SIEF} (severity of accident)

The worker tripped and fell, hitting her head on the arm of a chair and suffering a concussion. The Board granted the employer 25% SIEF relief, based on an accident of moderate severity and a pre-existing condition of minor medical significance. The employer appealed, claiming that the accident was of minor severity.

In considering the severity of the accident, the Vice-Chair noted that the Tribunal has decided a large number of cases in which the severity of an accident had to be categorized. These categories, of minor, moderate and major significance, are not discrete; rather, they form a continuum. There will undoubtedly be a number of outlying cases that seem to stretch the boundaries of what constitutes minor, moderate and major along the continuum. However, an understanding of how the Tribunal generally tends to interpret and apply the Board policy on SIEF cannot be achieved by relying only upon the cases that appear to reflect the most generous or most restrictive application of the policy.
In this case, the worker tripped and fell, sustaining a blow to her head. The blow was sufficiently sharp as to cause a concussion. The worker had a psychological condition but it did not pre-dispose her to a concussion. The mechanics of the accident can reasonably be expected to result, and did result, in a disabling injury.
The Vice-Chair concluded that the accident was of moderate severity. The appeal was dismissed.