Highlights of Noteworthy Decisions

Decision 1741 22
M. McLoughlin - P. Greenside - J. Mandoko
  • Causation (medical evidence)
  • Disablement (working conditions) (workstation design)
  • Strains and sprains (cervical)
  • Strains and sprains (trapezius)
  • Tendinopathy (shoulder)

The employer appealed a March 31, 2022 ARO decision. The sole issue under appeal was the worker's entitlement for a cervical myofascial strain, a right upper trapezius strain, and right rotator cuff shoulder tendinosis.

The employer's appeal was denied. The worker's entitlement was upheld.
The worker's representative submitted that the worker's injuries arose from her repetitive duties performed in a high paced environment, at an ergonomically unsuitable work station, while working at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. The worker had little time between calls and minimal opportunity for rest during the course of her typical shift.
Furthermore, it was accepted that the employer had not provided the worker with a customized ergonomic desk chair, or the ergonomically approved desk that she had used while in the office. The worker had set up her keyboard, monitor and mouse on her dining table. Based on those points, the Panel concluded that the worker at home was no longer working in a customized ergonomic work station of the sort that had previously been made available to her by her employer with the support of the WSIB. The Panel accepted that due to her unsuitable work station, she found herself leaning forward and reaching with her dominant right arm in order to perform the repetitive computer entry and mousing tasks associated with her duties as a Customer Service Representative. It was found that the worker's duties contributed significantly to the onset or development of her conditions.