Permanent impairment entitlements can be long time coming

Ontario case involved worker with pre-existing condition harmed by workplace accident
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 03/28/2019

An Ontario worker has been granted permanent impairment benefits for a pre-existing back condition — 17 years after it was determined the condition had returned to its state before a workplace accident.

The 71-year-old worker was employed as a utility gas fitter and meter installer, hired by his employer in 1985. He had a long-standing history of pain in his lower back, as well as incidents of sciatica over the course of his lifetime.

However, by 2000, he claimed things were “pretty good” with his back, except for the “odd little muscle spasm” that would go away within a day. He also suffered a right ankle fracture in November 1975 for which he received an eight-per-cent permanent disability award. Despite his back issues, he didn’t seek medical attention and was able to perform his regular job duties.