Ontario workman's compensation for injury

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Just thought I'd air some sympathetic feelings.
My dentist is a woodworker, and he relayed some bad news to me today. (From this point it's all hearsay, but...) His neighbour is the guy I like to buy wood from, and his helper got sliced pretty badly by their shaper, and is likely to lose at least one finger. Apparently he wasn't using a guard, and can't get compensation for the injury.
I don't know anything about shapers other than they seem to be pretty scary machines. It just seems pretty brutal that insurance won't cover the injury, which I'm doubting was made by any reckless behaviour, knowing those guys. Are the rules of compensation always appropriate? I'm reminded of a minor incident on one of my summer jobs at an oil refinery. I was drilling a hole in a piece of metal and it grabbed and nicked my finger. All injuries had to be reported, so I went to the nurses' station to do just that. I should have clamped the workpiece, but frankly I didn't know better at the time. Instead I was asked why I wasn't wearing gloves! (Ummm, so only my finger gets nicked instead of ripping of my entire hand, maybe?)
- Owen -
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Owen Lawrence wrote:

If the worker was in fact denied workman's compensation he should appeal the decision. The Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) even has a web page outlining the procedure:
http://www.wsib.on.ca/wsib/wsibsite.nsf/Public/Appeals
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Jack Novak
Buffalo, NY - USA
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I'd certainly consider using a shaper without a guard to be reckless. If one is hand-feeding the stock, that is. Using a power feeder is a different story, but hand-feeding with the guards removed is just asking for trouble. At least if you get your fingers into a table saw blade, they can be reattached. Kinda hard to reattach a pink mist...
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Doug Miller wrote:

Not knowing the whole story or what operation performed makes this purely speculative. However, if he was using a template to shape an outline of some sort, the use of a guard is not always possible. However, when that is the case, the template should designed to make sure that the hands are never close to the cutters.
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If you're going to be dumb, you better be tough

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. Apparently he wasn't using a

While I feel bad for the guy, why was he not using the guard? Whose fault? If the employer took the guard off, there is a liability issue. If the worker took the guard off, it was his fault.
No paying for willful negligence keeps the insurance rates down for the rest of us.
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In reality I don't believe an insurance company can refuse medical care costs within reason regardless of whose fault it is. The insurance company can however drop the insured at any time, and that is the way insurance rates are hopefully kept down. We really do not want insurance companies to be able to decide when they are going to pay and when they are not going to pay concerning an accident. Before you know it they may decide that the injured worker may not be covered for medical expenses because he only had 7 hours of sleep the night before or because he was not wearing a jock strap or....
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Good.
Someone who deliberately bypasses safety devices has the right to do so, but does NOT have the right to compensation if he gets injured.
I call it "paying the Stupid tax."
He deserves to pay it, not the businesses and individuals in Ontario who contribute to Workers Comp.
This idea that any injury needs to be compensated is really, really f'd up.
Let him sue your dentist's friend for damages.
<shaking my head>
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wrote:

Agreed, however he should still have medical expense coverage but no cash settlement for dismemberment.
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Leon wrote:

Just as an aside, and this doesn't address whether or not he should be given a cash settlement. This happened in Ontario Canada, and the man's medical bills are covered by the provincial health system. No one will be out of pocket for that. At least not for the emergency and medium term care.
Long term is another matter, and I believe that's what's being denied him.
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Tanus wrote:
... snip

Well, the money to pay that is coming from somewhere. It's the taxpayers that will pony up that bill.

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Nonsense. Everybody in the province will be out of pocket for that.
Or did you think the money appears by magic?
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On Jan 17, 7:30am, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

Miller is off his meds again....
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Doug Miller wrote:

I'm not falling into this silly debate. I'm sure you know what I meant.
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On Tue, 15 Jan 2008 21:37:21 -0600, Dave Balderstone

Here in the UK it would be almost unheard of for a worker to lose any right to benefits because of a missing guard.
First of all, the _employer_ has significant duties here. If there's an accident, the first port of call is the body responsible for the workshop, not the individual. And in most cases, that;s just where we ought to be looking. It's not usually the _worforce_ who are chooisng to use an ancient machine with broken or missing guards on it.
Mind you, we seem to have no ability to make any such charges stick 8-( Even after major rail crashes.
Secondly, even if the machine operator has been caught hacksawing off the guard themselves, they're unlikely to lose any right to injury benefits over their actions.
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Offhand, I can't recall the relevant section of the Health & Safety at Work act, but there is a clear duty of an employee to comply with measures implemented by the employer.
There have been successful prosections for failure to do so.
Respectfully,
Jeff
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Jeff Gorman wrote:

In the US OSHA does not site individuals:
http://www.osha.gov/as/opa/worker/responsible.html
The employee is expected to follow safety rules but is the employer's responsibility to ensure the rules are enforced.
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Jack Novak
Buffalo, NY - USA
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As far as i know in an industrial setting all guards are supposed to be used. When i was trained on that stuff (8ish years ago) In Ontario no less i was hit with almost exactly that situation as a training excersize.
Worker using a tablesaw cutting a large peice with an unseen nail. The guard is removed to feed the peice through but the unseen nail causes a kickback or throws a shard and takes out the worker.
In theory open and shut. NO guard Workers fault. IN practice the point made there was the guard could not be used and still feed the workpeice.
THose types of things need to be investigated case by case basis and appealed if need be. But when you defeat safety measures for no good reason then injure yourself there is a reaosn to deny claims.
Its your fingers, no job is worth being called stubs
Brent Ottawa Canada
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Compensation is the key word here. Compensation in these type instances are normally cash settlements on top of medical expenses. Medical expenses are not normally considered compensation.
If you are fully insured, run a red light and have a wreck, does you insurance company get to duck out of paying for the repair of you automobile? No. If you are injured because you were not wearing a seat belt, can the insurance company refuse to pay for medical costs? No.
I do not know of any incident where an insurance company is allowed to duck out of paying for repairs/medical costs on someone that they are covering. Additionally Workman's Comp an additional insurance, is to protect the employer from loosing his company in a law settlement and to take care of the needs of the injured, with in reason, no multi million dollar settlements for loosing a finger. Workman's comp limits the employers liability in the event the employer is found at fault. With that in mind however the worker that was injured may be denied a cash bonus for loss of a digit.
Guard or no guard, you can still be seriously injured with wood working machines.
BTY, good to see you again Owen.
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Leon wrote:

I believe workman's comp covers medical expenses and lost wages only.
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Jack Novak
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That could be true now but in the past it did limit the liability and an employee could not sue the employer. IIRC the limit of damages beyond the medical was $100K.
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