Knee Injury Suffered When Sitting Down on Employer’s Bus Was Compensable

A worker sprained her knee when sitting down on an employer’s bus. An MRI found that she’d torn her medial meniscus. But her workers’ comp claim for the injury was denied because sitting down was a “normal body movement” and the injury wasn’t related to a workplace hazard. On appeal, the Appeals Commission ruled that the worker’s injury was compensable. When the worker boarded the employer’s bus, which she was required to take, she was wearing PPE and a heavy backpack. The bus was crowded, and the aisle and seats were narrow. The worker had to twist and turn to remove her backpack and get into her seat. While doing so, she heard her knee “pop.” The Commission found that the ergonomic conditions on the bus, which included the limited turning radius in the aisle and the limited size of the bus seat, were employment hazards that led to the worker’s need to turn and or twist to sit down into her seat and caused her knee injury [2016-0776 (Re), [2016] CanLII 87362 (AB WCAC), Dec. 15, 2016].