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Established in 1985, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal (WSIAT) is the final level of appeal to which workers and employers may bring disputes concerning workplace safety and insurance matters in Ontario. WSIAT has always been separate from and independent of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.

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  Decision 552 16
3/11/2016
S. Darvish

  • Class of employer (other brokers)
  • Class of employer (wholesale operation)

The employer appealed a decision of the Appeals Resolution Officer classifying the employer in Rate Group 658, Classification Unit 5611-000, for metal products, wholesale. The employer submitted that it should be classified in Rate Group 958, Classification Unit 779-010, for other brokers.
Board policy defines wholesaling as the business of buying products for resale to other businesses which, in turn either retail the product or use it in their operations. The Board considers wholesale activity to involve both taking title to goods and handling them. The business activity of arranging for the sale of goods without handling them, with or without taking title, falls under other services.
In this case, part of the employer's business consisted of simply arranging for the sale of goods without handling them. However, a substantial part consisted of wholesaling. According to the employer, approximately 30% of its business was not the business of brokering; it involved purchase of common steel products that it would warehouse and process at a third party facility for a fee, for sale to future customers. In addition, the Vice-Chair noted that, even when material was purchased and shipped directly to a customer, excess steel which was not taken by the customer was held by the employer until it could be sold to another employer. Thus, the Vice-Chair found that at least one-third of the employer's business involved wholesaling.
The Vice-Chair distinguished a number of decisions referred to by the employer on the basis that they involved other business activities that were exceptional or involved only 1% to 2% of the time. In this case, a significant portion of the employer's business involved purchasing steel material and warehousing it for the purpose of reselling it to customers.
In the absence of any evidence of segregation of payroll, the Vice-Chair confirmed the classification in Rate Group 685, as determined by the Board. The appeal was dismissed.