Employer Cost Relief in the Context of a Worker's Substance Abuse

  • October 16, 2023
  • Cassandra Ma, legal counsel, Bell Canada

A recent decision from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal (“WSIAT”), Decision No. 339/23, 2023 CanLII 77216 (ON WSIAT), confirms the importance of having proper evidence when arguing about claims or related appeals.

The appeal in Decision No. 339/23 centered on the employer’s entitlement to cost relief from the Second Injury and Enhancement Fund (“SIEF”). In an earlier decision, an Appeals Resolution Officer of the WSIB found that the employer had no such entitlement. The employer appealed the WSIB’s decision to the WSIAT.

The underlying WSIB claim involved a fatal motor vehicle accident. The worker was employed as an operator of a tractor trailer. On December 23, 2019, the worker drove his truck off a road and struck a hydroelectric pole. The collision resulted in severe intrusion of the truck’s driver compartment, and the worker’s death was pronounced on scene.