WSIB to review previously rejected cancer claims by GE employees

TORONTO, Ont. – Ontario’s workers’ compensation board has announced that it is planning to re-examine more than 250 claims submitted by General Electric (GE) employees in Peterborough since 2004. A Sept. 18 news release from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) stated that a Dedicated Review Team would deal with both cancer- and non-cancer-related claims that had previously been rejected, reviewing them in the contexts of updated scientific research about links between chemical exposure and illness and of technical advances in identifying next of kin. “The Peterborough community has presented information that helps clarify the exposures people had to various chemicals and substances,” Armando Fatigati, the WSIB’s vice president of complex claims, said in a press statement. “We’ll be looking at what they were exposed to, how much of it they were exposed to and how long people were exposed to these chemicals and substances.” Fatigati added that the WSIB had made more than 2,400 decisions on claims from GE Peterborough employees since 1993, approving more than 80 per cent of them. Earlier this year, a report by the Advisory Committee on Retrospective Exposures concluded that workers had been exposed to more than 3,000 toxic chemicals for more than 50 years at the Peterborough facility (COHSN, May 23).

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