Highlights of Noteworthy Decisions

Decision 1505 21
P. Allen
  • Second Injury and Enhancement Fund {SIEF} (pre-existing condition) (cardiac)

The worker, a cleaner, was found deceased at the bottom of a set of stairs. He was lying on his back with his feet on the stairs, and his cleaning supplies were sitting beside a door at the top of the stairs. The worker had a pre-existing cardiac condition. The employer appealed a decision of the Appeals Resolution Officer denying entitlement to 100% SIEF cost relief.

The appeal was allowed.
The Board's SIEF policy provides for 100% cost relief in cases where a prior non-work related condition is the cause of the accident. The evidence established on a balance of probabilities that the worker's pre-existing cardiac condition likely precipitated or triggered the fall. There was no evidence of a tripping hazard on the stairs and the worker did not have a history of falls or losing his balance. The worker likely fell backwards down the stairs. There were no injuries to the worker's hands, wrists, elbows, or shoulders, which indicated that the worker did not reflexively extend his arms and hands to protect himself, likely because he was unconscious. The autopsy report indicated that the pre-existing cardiac condition may have led to the fall by causing a syncopal episode in which the worker was unconscious just before the fall.