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Ill-Fitting Mask Exposed Worker to Silica Dust & Caused Compensable Illness

A worker claimed that he breathed in concrete dust containing silica due to an ill-fitting, broken face mask and thus developed acute bronchitis and reactive airway disease. His workers’ comp claim was ultimately denied, so he appealed. The Appeals Commission found that, based on the evidence, both the silica dust and the ill-fitting mask were hazards of the worker’s employment. An accident occurred in that the worker was exposed to silica dust in the course of that employment and, as a result, he developed respiratory conditions. Thus, he was entitled to workers’ comp for those conditions, concluded the Commission [2015-0563 (Re), [2015] CanLII 56073 (AB WCAC), Sept. 10, 2015].