Straightforward or Complex?
Causation scenarios can fall on either end of the
complexity spectrum – and everywhere in between
In most cases, injury causation is straightforward – but
when it’s not, WCB adjudicators seek the help of consulting
physicians who may conduct a causation analysis. If so,
the analysis will be documented in the medical consultant’s
opinion memo, which is available to you and your employee
through their claim owner, if requested.
These medical opinions are used by claim owners to help
guide the decisions they make.
A L B E R TA WCB
A. Sharon is a construction worker helping in the reconstruction of
a municipal sewer project. A heavy pipe falls and lands on her foot,
breaking a bone. Sharon’s foot injury is caused by her work.
B. Sharon is gardening in her backyard. She dropped a large rock
on her foot, breaking a bone. When she returned to work, her
employer was able to provide her with work in the office, sitting at
a desk. Sharon found that her foot pain was too painful to focus on
work and went home. Sharon missing time from work is caused by
her broken foot and not due to her work.
A. Albert has recently been diagnosed with mesothelioma, a cancer
of the lining of the lung. He had worked for many years in the 1960s
and 70s handling asbestos-containing materials in high volumes. A
detailed review was done of Albert’s asbestos exposure during his
working life in Alberta. Scientific research shows a direct link between
asbestos exposure and the development of mesothelioma. It was
found that Albert’s mesothelioma was more than likely caused by his
work exposure to asbestos in his job in heavy construction. Albert’s
mesothelioma is a work-related condition.
B. Albert was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. He wonders if the cancer
is related to his work in heavy construction, which exposed him to
asbestos. A detailed review of the scientific research does not show
a relationship between asbestos exposure and an increased risk for
thyroid cancer. Albert’s thyroid cancer is not related to his work.
Alberta Heavy_TOJ_7.125x4.75_print.pdf 1 2021-02-04 3:17 PM