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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 1124 17
5/18/2017
S. Martel - M. Lipton - S. Roth

  • Arising out of employment (added peril)
  • Presumptions (entitlement)
  • Fainting

The worker fainted at work on September 7, 2012, hitting his head on the concrete floor, and suffering craniocerebral trauma. He died on September 11, due to hypertensive cardiomyopathy. The worker's estate appealed a decision of the Appeals Resolution Officer denying entitlement for the accident.
The Panel referred to Decision No. 1361/16, and noted that there are four categories of cases concerning entitlement following a seizure of fainting episode: 1) the seizure or fainting episode is work-related, for example, due to chemical exposure; 2) the cause of the episode is unknown, in which case the presumption in s. 13(2) of the WSIA may apply; 3) the seizure or fainting episode is unrelated to employment but there is entitlement for the injuries flowing from the episode because of added peril in the workplace causing more serious injuries than otherwise; 4) there is no entitlement because the episode is not work-related and there is no added peril in the workplace.
In this case, the worker did not faint as a result of a work-related injuring process. The worker suddenly fainted, falling backwards and hitting his head on the concrete floor. The worker had significant pre-existing conditions, specifically hypertension and diabetes, for which he was non-compliant with treatment. The worker did not fall from a height, such as being on a ladder. The floor was concrete but hard surfaces are common in and out of the workplace. The concrete floor did not constitute an added peril.
The Panel concluded that the worker fainted due to non-compensable conditions and suffered a head trauma. The injury did not arise out of employment.
The appeal was dismissed.