Miner’s lung cancer from smoking, not career in mines, board says

Form of cancer more consistent with miner's pack-a-day habit for 60 years
|Canadian Employment Law Today

The widow of an Ontario miner who died from lung cancer is not entitled to compensation because his cancer was more likely the result of smoking rather than his working conditions, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Board has ruled.

The miner worked for 36 years in underground nickel mines, from 1948 to 1984. In 1997, when he was 73, he was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma in his left lung. Having no family history of cancer, he filed a claim for compensation, saying the cancer was a result of the conditions in which he worked during his career in the mines.

Other employees said the mines were dirty with little ventilation. The worker had many duties in the mines over the years, one of which was working with slushers — machines which drilled with water that had brakes partially made from asbestos.