Highlights of Noteworthy Decisions

Decision 1224 20
08/02/2021
A. Patterson
  • Cleaner
  • Employer (Schedule 1 and 2 employers)
  • Hearing loss
  • Occupational disease (Schedule 1 and 2 employers)

The Board granted the worker entitlement for noise-induced hearing loss in April 2018. At the time, the worker was working as a custodian for a school board, a Schedule 2 employer. The Board determined that the school board was the employer responsible for the costs of the claim. The employer appealed.

The worker worked for a number of manufacturing companies from 1975 to 1982. He started working for the school board in 1983. It was clear that, prior to his employment with the appellant school board, the worker had occupational exposure to noise well in excess of the entitlement criteria for benefits for hearing loss set out in Board policy.
The Vice-Chair considered whether the school board was "the Schedule 2 employer who last employed the worker in the employment in which the disease occurs" within s. 94(2) of the WSIA.
The Vice-Chair reviewed all the sources of noise with the school board and determined the upper range of noise to which the worker was exposed on an annual basis. For example, the worker had eight hours of annual exposure of 94 decibel noise from a snow blower and 500 hours of annual exposure of 79 decibel noise from a floor scrubber. The resulting average from all noise exposure with the school board was 78.9 decibels.
Thus, the noise exposure with the school board did not approach the threshold for entitlement. The worker had entitlement for hearing loss, but the hearing loss did not result from exposure with the Schedule 2 employer school board. The employer did not fall within the scope of s. 94(2), and was not responsible for the costs of the claim.