Primary cancer of the trachea, bronchus or lung is accepted as an occupational disease under s.2(1) and s.15 of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 (WSIA) as characteristic of gold mining in Ontario.
To determine entitlement, the decision-maker must first confirm that:
- the worker has worked in an Ontario gold mine with substantiated occupational history, and
- the gold miner has been diagnosed with primary cancer of the trachea, bronchus or lung, with medical evidence establishing the diagnosis.
The following table sets out the criteria, which if met, are considered persuasive evidence to establish work-relatedness. In assessing entitlement, the decision-maker weighs all the available evidence, including work-related and non-work-related factors and determines work-relatedness based on the individual merits of the case.
|A biologically plausible latency period is present||Latency can vary with intensity and type of exposure. Usually it is biologically plausible that the disease occurs:
The gold miner has worked during the dustiest years of gold mining
|Sufficient and consistent evidence of occupational exposure must be present||
To satisfy this criteria the gold miner has:
Dusty occupation and dusty gold mining are defined by the Ontario WSIB coding system, which is outlined in the table below.
|11||Full time in dust exposure - mill|
|12||Full time in dust exposure - other surface|
|13||Full time in dust exposure - shaft sinking|
|14||Full time in dust exposure - other underground|
|15||Full time in dust exposure - surface and underground|
|16||Full time in dust exposure - open pit|
|21||Part time in dust exposure - mill (including mill in open pit)|
|22||Part time in dust exposure - other surface|
|25||Part time in dust exposure - surface and underground|
|26||Part time in dust exposure - open pit|
|97||Dust exposure, specifics unknown|
For all allowed claims, past and future, considered under the WSIB policy on lung cancer among goldminers (either Minute No. 3, January 8, 1988, Page 5216 or Minute #5, August 29, 1991, Page 5471), eligibility for entitlement and benefits shall be retroactive to the date of accident or to the date of the worker's death in the case of survivors' benefits, and paid in accordance with the provisions of the Workers' Compensation Act or WSIA in effect at that time and thereafter. There is no restriction to entitlement to benefits based on whether the worker, spouse or dependants are or were alive as of a specific date.
In lung cancer claims, the date of accident is the date of diagnosis or the date initial medical attention is sought for symptoms consistent with the diagnosis, whichever is earlier (see 11-01-04, Determining the Date of Injury).
This policy applies to all decisions made on or after July 20, 2023, for all accidents.
This document replaces 16-02-07 dated October 12, 2004.
This document was previously published as:
04-04-08 dated October 27, 1994.
Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997, as amended
Sections 2(1), 15, 119(1)
#7, July 17, 2023, page 619