Smoke but no fire for worker’s WSIB claim

Worker claimed respiratory symptoms developed because of work at tobacco plant, but had history of smoking and allergies
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 11/25/2015

An Ontario worker’s respiratory symptoms were not related to her job grinding tobacco but more likely stemmed from a pre-existing condition, the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal has ruled.

The 60-year-old worker immigrated to Canada from Poland in 1990 and worked in a hotel and a factory before being hired by the employer, a cigarette manufacturer, in February 2001. Some reports indicated she smoked up to 20 cigarettes a day for 11 years before coming to work for the employer, quitting in 1997. However, the worker claimed she was only a social smoker and smoked once per month as a teenager.