Decision #53/21 - Type: Workers Compensation
The worker is appealing the decision made by the Workers Compensation Board ("WCB") that his claim for a psychological injury was not acceptable. A videoconference hearing was held on December 22, 2020 to consider the worker's appeal.
Whether or not the claim for a psychological injury is acceptable.
That the claim for a psychological injury is acceptable.
On March 19, 2019, the worker filed a Worker Incident Report with the WCB indicating he suffered a psychological injury as a result of being involved in traumatic incidents at work. The worker also cited issues with management. The worker noted that he had "…sever [sic] panic attacks and my anxiety is through the roof…" and he had trouble sleeping. The Employer's Incident Report, filed April 1, 2019, noted no injury had been reported to the employer.
In a discussion with the WCB on April 2, 2019, the worker provided details of traumatic events and situations he had been exposed to over the past year which were affecting him, as well as employment-related matters. He noted his family had noticed he was "not himself" and he was only sleeping two or three hours per night. The worker confirmed that he had been with the employer for 11 years and was an acting supervisor for the past year, with two of the traumatic incidents having occurred while he was acting as a supervisor. He reported that he had suffered from anxiety and depression when he was younger and had sought treatment for work-related stress. The worker noted that he had not mentioned anything in particular about events to his family physician, he had just referred to stress in general, and stated that a debriefing was held after every incident at work which was of a critical nature or involved assault. He advised that he had not worked since March 8, 2019.
On April 3, 2019, the WCB discussed the claim with the employer. The employer advised that in an attempt to accommodate issues in the worker's personal life, the employer offered him a position with reduced hours on day shifts, which the worker initially turned down and was then offered to another worker. The worker advised the employer two days later that he now wanted the position, but was told he had declined the position and it had since been taken by another worker. The employer said the worker told her he was going to go on stress leave then, as this was causing a lot of problems with his personal life.
The employer further advised that the worker's supervisor had been working with the worker to help come up with a plan to accommodate his personal issues and noted that work-related stress or stress related to any of the events the worker had mentioned to the adjudicator had never been discussed with the employer. On April 4, 2019, the employer provided further details related to the traumatic events reported by the worker, and noted after each event there was a debriefing at which the worker indicated he had no issues and did not require services from the employer's employee assistance program ("EAP").
On April 5, 2019, the worker's family physician provided a report, noting the worker's diagnosis of major depression. The physician reported the worker initially presented to his office on March 14, 2019 with "…symptoms of anxiety, panic attacks." He noted that the worker had been treated for depression and anxiety "…several years ago and as early as one year ago." The physician noted that the worker was not sleeping well, had poor appetite, showed low self-esteem, was irritable and afraid to return to work, but did not endorse any nightmares. The physician wrote that the worker reported he felt two specific incidents in September and October 2018 "triggered his emotional problems" and he felt threatened during the second incident. Mention was made of a work accident the worker experienced elsewhere in 2006 involving a head injury, where he had concussion symptoms for a month. The family physician opined that the worker met the criteria for major depression based on his depressed mood, irritability, impaired judgment and altered sleep. He further noted that on follow-up, the worker showed little improvement with three weeks of treatment with medication. The physician had therefore increased the worker's medication and referred him for community mental health treatment, and opined that the worker was not fit for any employment prior to June 1, 2019.
On April 9, 2019, the WCB's Compensation Services advised the worker that his claim was not acceptable. Compensation Services advised that they were unable to establish the worker sustained a psychological injury as a result of the incidents described by the worker and the employer, or his job duties in general, and that the worker's time loss was a result of his need to be accommodated in his personal life.
On November 28, 2019, the worker's union representative provided a submission to the WCB and requested that the April 9, 2019 decision to deny the worker's claim be reconsidered based on new evidence enclosed with that submission. The representative submitted a detailed chronology of several traumatic events provided by the worker, noting the information provided by the employer focused on logistical facts which seemed to trivialize the documented events and did not provide for the potential psychological impact of the events or emotional reactions from the workers involved. Also included were details of a direct threat to the worker and his family which the worker received from one of the residents but had not reported until recently. It was noted that the incident had been reported to the employer on October 21, 2019 and a police report had been filed.
Also included with the November 28, 2019 submission were several reports from the worker's treating healthcare providers, including his family physician, EAP counsellor and psychiatrist. In a report dated May 29, 2019, the worker's psychiatrist noted the worker reported he had witnessed several traumatic events at work over the past year, including violence between residents and being threatened by them. The psychiatrist opined that the worker presented "with symptoms [sic] posttraumatic stress disorder and panic disorder with agoraphobia." The psychiatrist noted that a mild traumatic brain injury in 2006 and history of depression would predispose the worker to development of posttraumatic stress disorder ("PTSD"), and lack of support at work and current psychosocial stressors would perpetuate his symptoms. The treating psychiatrist opined at that time that it was unlikely the worker would be able to return in his profession as he would be "…at high risk of getting further traumatized by his interactions at that environment if he returns back there."
Reports from both the treating psychiatrist and the worker's family physician in September 2019 supported that the worker would be able to attempt a gradual return to work in November 2019. In a November 6, 2019 report, however, the treating psychiatrist advised against a return to work, as the worker's condition was not stable. In a November 20, 2019 letter, the treating psychiatrist clarified that the worker was medically cleared to return to work, but opined that returning to the same work would exacerbate symptoms of PTSD and asked that he be accommodated in another department.
The WCB investigated the worker's claim further, requesting additional information from the employer, including information on the reported personal threat. On March 19, 2020, the employer advised that a safety and threat assessment was completed on October 21, 2019. The employer reported that security features were reviewed, and assessment findings which indicated the threat was low risk were discussed with the worker. It was noted that the worker later advised that the resident was relocated to another facility and no further safety concerns were anticipated. On March 26, 2020, the local law enforcement agency also confirmed that a report was made but they could not provide further details.
On April 16, 2020, Compensation Services advised the worker that the information his representative had provided had been reviewed, but there would be no change to the April 9, 2019 decision that his claim was not acceptable.
On April 30, 2020, the worker's union representative requested that Review Office reconsider Compensation Services' decision. On June 15, 2020, the employer provided a submission in support of Compensation Services' decision, and worker's representative provided a response to that submission on June 29, 2020.
At the request of Review Office, the worker's claim was reviewed by a WCB psychiatric consultant on July 1, 2020. The consultant opined that the file evidence did not support a diagnosis of PTSD based on the worker's description and response to the reported incidents. The consultant noted that the worker had a prior history of anxiety and depression, and had sought treatment for same prior to the re-emergence of symptoms as discussed by his family physician on March 14, 2019. It was noted that the worker initially described anxiety with panic attacks, irritability and less resilience at work, and the WCB psychiatric consultant opined that these symptoms were general in nature and did not support a diagnosis of PTSD. The WCB psychiatric consultant noted that the initial diagnosis in close proximity to the worker's filing of his claim was Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), recurrent, and opined that the symptoms described in the family physician's March 14, 2019 chart notes did not substantiate a diagnosis of MDD. A copy of the WCB psychiatric consultant's opinion was provided to both parties, who each provided a submission in response.
On July 20, 2020, Review Office determined that the worker's claim for a psychological injury was not acceptable. Review Office placed weight on information provided by the worker in closer proximity to the filing of his claim and found that the evidence on file did not support the worker sustained a psychological injury as a result of his job duties. Review Office further found that the employment-related matters were the major factor in the worker's psychological difficulties when he stopped working in March 2019.
On July 20, 2020, the worker's union representative filed an appeal with the Appeal Commission. An oral hearing was arranged and proceeded by way of videoconference on December 22, 2020.
Following the hearing, the appeal panel requested additional information prior to discussing the case further. The requested information was later received and was forwarded to the interested parties for comment. On March 3, 2021, the appeal panel met further to discuss the case and render its final decision on the issue under appeal.
Applicable Legislation and Policy
The Appeal Commission and its panels are bound by The Workers Compensation Act (the "Act"), regulations and policies of the WCB's Board of Directors.
Subsection 4(1) of the Act provides that where a worker suffers personal injury by accident arising out of and in the course of employment, compensation shall be paid.
"Accident" is defined in subsection 1(1) of the Act as:
…a chance event occasioned by a physical or natural cause; and includes
(a) a wilful and intentional act that is not the act of the worker,
(i) event arising out of, and in the course of, employment, or
(ii) thing that is done and the doing of which arises out of, and in the course of, employment, and
(c) an occupational disease,
and as a result of which a worker is injured.
"Occupational disease" is defined in subsection 1(1) as:
…a disease arising out of and in the course of employment and resulting from causes and conditions
(a) peculiar to or characteristic of a particular trade or occupation;
(b) peculiar to the particular employment; or
(b.1) that trigger post-traumatic stress disorder;
but does not include
(c) an ordinary disease of life; and
(d) stress, other than an acute reaction to a traumatic event.
Subsection 4(4) of the Act deals with the cause of an occupational disease, and provides:
4(4) Where an injury consists of an occupational disease that is, in the opinion of the board, due in part to the employment of the worker and in part to a cause or causes other than the employment, the board may determine that the injury is the result of an accident arising out of and in the course of employment only where, in its opinion, the employment is the dominant cause of the occupational disease.
Subsection 4(5.8) of the Act deals with a presumption regarding post-traumatic stress disorder, and provides:
4(5.8) If a worker
(a) is exposed to a traumatic event or events of a type specified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as a trigger for post-traumatic stress disorder; and
(b) is diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder by a physician or psychologist;
the post-traumatic stress disorder must be presumed to be an occupational disease the dominant cause of which is the employment, unless the contrary is proven.
The WCB's Board of Directors has established WCB Policy 44.05.30, Adjudication of Psychological Injuries (the "Policy"), the purpose of which is to explain the way that claims for psychological injuries will be adjudicated, and the reason that some types of psychological injuries will not give rise to a compensable claim.
With respect to non-compensable psychological injuries, the Policy specifically provides that:
Psychological injuries that occur as a result of burn-out or the daily pressures or stressors of work will not give rise to a compensable claim. The daily pressures or stressors of work do not fall within any part of the definition of accident because there is no chance event, no wilful and intentional act and no traumatic event.
Discipline, promotion, demotion, transfer or other employment related matters are specifically excluded from the definition of accident.
The worker was represented by his union's Workers Compensation Specialist, who provided a written submission in advance of the hearing and made a presentation to the panel. The worker was also accompanied by his spouse at the hearing, and he and his spouse responded to questions from his union representative and from the panel.
The worker's position was that his claim is acceptable because the evidence supports he sustained a psychological injury as a result of his exposure to occupational trauma.
The worker's representative submitted that the worker had been employed by the employer for more than a decade, during which time he had undoubtedly witnessed and been involved in numerous disturbing and traumatic events. He reported to the WCB that he first realized he was experiencing psychological symptoms in late 2018 and early 2019 as a result of exposure to traumatic events at work.
The worker's representative noted that the WCB concluded that disagreement over a pending work assignment was the cause of the worker's psychological symptoms and resultant disability. The representative submitted that while the worker was trying to secure an accommodation for his changing family needs, he had also witnessed residents assaulting each other and a resident had threatened him directly. It was submitted that just because the worker had workplace or scheduling issues at the same time, this should not be sufficient to discount his claim.
The worker's representative relied on two incidents in particular: the first on December 10, 2018, where a resident became enraged and threw a chair 30 feet, then came after the worker, threatening harm; and the second on December 14, 2018, where the worker intervened when a group of residents were seeking to mutilate another resident. The representative submitted that the employer's characterization of the December 14 incident as minor sought to diminish what in their view was a disturbing act of sexual violence. The representative noted that while the worker was not injured during this last incident, the threat of harm was serious and very real, particularly when one of the residents came after him.
The worker's representative submitted that the evidence further showed that in late February or early March 2019, a resident demanded that the worker "do favours for him," or his family would face dire consequences. The worker reported he worked a few shifts after that, but felt intimidated and increasingly fearful that a demand would be made and the threats would be carried out if he was non-compliant. The worker's representative acknowledged that the worker did not immediately report this threat to anyone, adding that this was because he had no confidence in his employer to handle the situation and feared the resident would make good on his threats.
It was submitted that the worker experienced an acute onset of psychological symptoms which caused him to stop working on March 8, 2019. He went to his family physician, filed a WCB claim and was referred to a psychiatrist, who diagnosed him with PTSD. The representative submitted that once the worker and the psychiatrist agreed that he would never be returning to the work he had been doing, he disclosed the threats that had been made against him and his family to his psychiatrist, then to his union, the police and his employer.
The worker's representative submitted that with the support of his treating psychiatrist, counselling, medication and time away from the workplace, the worker's condition improved and he was able to return to alternate work in a different department.
It was submitted that documentation supplied by the employer confirmed the worker witnessed wilful and intentional acts of violence between residents and was threatened with physical injury and violence. It was submitted that neither the WCB nor the employer had disputed the validity of his reports that a resident had threatened him and his family, which was also a wilful and intentional act.
The worker's representative submitted that each of the experiences described by the worker were a "wilful and intentional act" or a "traumatic event," as defined by the Policy. The representative further submitted that the traumatic experiences the worker described satisfied the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) criteria for PTSD, which requires "exposure to actual or threatened death, serious injury, or sexual violence." Consistent with the experiences the worker described, the DSM-5 provides that exposure to trauma can occur in a number of ways including "directly experiencing the traumatic event(s)" or "witnessing, in person, the event(s) as it occurred to others."
The worker's representative submitted that Review Office's perspective that the worker failed to tell his employer that he was having negative feelings in relation to the residents' assaults, despite ample opportunity to do so, failed to acknowledge the prevailing culture in this workplace, where physical or psychological weakness is viewed with contempt. The representative suggested that while the worker's initial inquiries appeared to have been made due to his family needs, the prospect of upcoming work reassignment without direct resident contact was undoubtedly a consideration that enabled him to continue on with his work.
The worker's representative submitted that the treating psychiatrist's initial assessment report documented all symptoms necessary to support a diagnosis of PTSD. After the treating psychiatrist closed her public practice, the worker was referred to another psychiatrist, who also concluded the worker was suffering from PTSD as a result of his exposure to occupational trauma. It was submitted that the independent assessments of both treating psychiatrists established that the worker developed a psychological injury, diagnosed as PTSD, as a direct result of this prior exposure to occupational trauma. The representative submitted that the traumatic events as described by the worker, including assaults by residents, sexual violence, and threats of personal harm, could and should be considered wilful and intentional acts, or traumatic events, as defined by WCB policy and as described in the DSM-5.
The worker's representative submitted that the position that non-compensable employment-related matters were responsible for the worker's psychological dysfunction and resultant disability disregarded the diagnosis of PTSD, which cannot by definition develop as a response to labour management discord. The representative acknowledged that the worker's psychological deterioration occurred at a time he was struggling to achieve a work assignment that accommodated his family needs, but submitted that the evidence supported his exposure to trauma was, at least in part, if not the predominant factor, in the manifestation of his psychological injury.
The worker's representative submitted that when considering injuries resulting from a chance event or wilful and intentional act, the "but for" test applies, meaning the threats made against the worker need not be the only or even primary factor in the onset of his injury for his claim to be accepted, they only have to have been a necessary factor in its development. The representative submitted that the evidence supports that the specific threats of violence made against the worker and his family were a significant factor in, if not the dominant cause of, his psychological disability, and as such his claim should be accepted.
The worker's representative noted that when considering injuries as acute reactions to traumatic events, or as an occupational disease, the more stringent dominant cause test applies. The representative submitted that the claim was still acceptable because the medical evidence supported that exposure to traumatic events at work was the dominant cause of his psychological injury.
Finally, it was submitted that the claim could be accepted under subsection 4(5.8) of the Act because the evidence confirmed the criteria outlined in paragraphs (a) and (b) of that provision, in that the worker: was exposed to traumatic events at work, as specified in the DSM-5 as triggers for PTSD; and has been diagnosed with PTSD by not just one, but two, independent psychiatrists. The representative submitted that as the necessary criteria were met, the worker's psychological condition "must be presumed to be an occupational disease the dominant cause of which is the employment," and there was insufficient evidence to disprove the legislative presumption.
In conclusion, the worker's representative submitted that the available evidence supported he sustained a psychological injury, which was caused by his exposure to occupational trauma and by threatening behaviour and comments of residents in his care, and his appeal should be accepted.
The employer was represented by its WCB Coordinator, who made a presentation at the hearing and responded to questions from the panel.
The employer's position, as outlined by their representative was that they supported Review Office's July 20, 2020 decision, and the worker's appeal should be dismissed.
The employer's representative reviewed the history of the worker's claim and the information on file. The representative submitted that Review Office followed the WCB Policy when they concluded that the worker's labour relation issues were the major factors in the worker's psychological state at the time he went off work on March 8, 2019 and that the non-work events caused his psychological injury.
The employer's representative submitted that while the worker's representative had argued that the worker's claim could be accepted in accordance with the presumption in subsection 4(5.8) of the Act regarding PTSD, the evidence on file established that his employment was not the dominant cause in the manifestation of a psychological injury and the presumption under that section was rebutted.
The employer's representative submitted that it was clear that the worker's discussions with the employer and with Compensation Services were focused on employment-related matters, with little information provided about the incidents with the residents. The representative noted that such employment-related matters included issues relating to the worker's request for accommodation or transfer to a different unit or position for personal reasons, issues where he felt management did not support him in decisions he made, conflicts with respect to vacation time, and stress with respect to a particular position which was offered to him then given to someone else. The representative noted that under the Policy, psychological injuries that occur as a result of burnout or daily pressures or stressors of work will not give rise to a compensable claim, and that discipline, transfer or other employment-related matters are specifically excluded from the definition of accident. The representative submitted that the worker's employment-related matters were specifically excluded from the definition of "accident" under the Act and Policy.
The employer's representative submitted that reports from the employer indicated the worker had many conversations with management over the last couple of months before going off work, but they were all regarding family and accommodation issues and he did not mention struggling due to the incidents he later referred to as the reason for his injury. The representative noted that information on file confirmed the worker had numerous opportunities prior to filing his claim to report difficulties related to the incidents at work to his employer, but failed to do so. It was submitted that greater weight should be placed on the information that was closer in time to the events, as being much stronger and more reliable.
The employer's representative submitted that although a resident may have threatened the worker, the worker's delay in reporting it to anyone made it impossible to establish with any certainty that the threat occurred. Information on file showed that he did not mention the threat during the initial investigation of his claim, or discuss it with his family physician, and that the first mention of the threat was to the treating psychiatrist on September 17, 2019. While the worker's representative explained that the worker delayed reporting for fear the resident would make good on his threat and because he did not trust his life and the lives of his family to the employer, it was submitted that the treating physician and the WCB would have been safe resources to share his concerns with prior to September 2019.
The employer's representative submitted that the treating psychiatrist did not provide an opinion that the workplace incidents were the cause of his posttraumatic symptoms, but only that lack of support from his workplace and psychosocial stressors could have perpetuated his symptoms. The representative noted that the WCB psychiatric consultant reviewed the claim file and opined that the file evidence did not support a diagnosis of PTSD based on the worker's description and response to the reported incidents, and provided detailed reasons for her opinion.
In conclusion, the employer's representative submitted that the labour relations issues were the major factors in the worker's psychological state at the time he went off work, and his claim for a psychological injury was not acceptable.
The issue on this appeal is claim acceptability. For the worker's appeal to be successful, the panel must find, on a balance of probabilities, that the worker suffered a psychological injury by accident arising out of and in the course of his employment. The panel is able to make that finding as indicated below, for the reasons that follow.
The panel notes that this was a complicated and difficult case to adjudicate.
The worker relied on three specific events as giving rise to a compensable psychological injury. Based on our review of all of the information which is before us, on file and as presented at the hearing and subsequently in response to our request, the panel is satisfied that the worker was exposed to traumatic events at work, particularly on December 10 and 14, 2018, as a result of which he was injured.
The panel notes that the worker indicated in his Worker's Incident Report that in the last few months to a year, he had "…been through a few major incidents at work, severe stabbing and violent things directed at me," and referred in particular to the December 14, 2018 incident, where he had a resident "…run at me with a broom and then turned around and chased another [resident] and then hit him with the broom, it broke and he then started stabbing the [resident] with it."
The panel notes that there are significant differences in the information on file with respect to the employer's and the worker's descriptions of these incidents and how serious or traumatic they were. The panel is of the view that the further Incident Reports and other documentation provided by the employer following the hearing in response to the panel's request, while heavily redacted, supported the traumatic nature and severity of the incidents. The Incident Reports thus refer to several residents having assaulted another resident, who sustained multiple injuries to his leg, arm, hand and head, and was transferred to hospital for further medical assessment and treatment. References in various reports include there being "pools of blood" around the resident on the floor, with visible facial injuries; a broom handle being broken during the assault and now having "a very dangerous speared point as a handle;" multiple residents violently attacking a resident and "attempting to 'spear'" him multiple times; a resident being repeatedly stabbed at his lower body with the broken broom handle; and residents "kicking, kneeing, punching" another resident.
The third incident which was relied on by the worker on the appeal, and described as a triggering event, was a threat that the worker and his family would face dire consequences if he did not comply with a demand from the resident. The evidence shows, however, that the worker did not report such a threat to anyone until more than six months later, when he reported it to his psychiatrist. Given the lengthy delay in reporting, the panel is unable to establish what may or may not have occurred. While the worker's representative suggested that it would be more likely than not that a resident would make threats to a person in the worker's position in the context of his employment, the panel is unable to arrive at that conclusion. The panel notes, nevertheless, that the treating psychiatrist's diagnosis of PTSD was not dependent on a threat having been made as indicated above, as she diagnosed the worker with PTSD prior to being told of such a threat.
In the circumstances, the panel is satisfied that the evidence shows that the worker suffered an injury at work, notably as a result of the traumatic workplace incidents in December 2018, which was subsequently diagnosed as PTSD. In response to questioning from his representative at the hearing, the worker indicated that he realized he was not feeling well when he noticed he was much more irritable, easily angered, agitated and could not explain why certain things were happening. He said that the "kicker" was when his mother and wife both sat him down and said "you need to get help, you aren't yourself…you need counselling or something…" The worker's spouse indicated that this happened in early January 2019.
The panel also notes that the information on file shows the worker had been treated previously for anxiety and depression, including within the previous year. The panel acknowledges the treating psychiatrist's comment that the worker's history of depression would predispose him to the development of PTSD.
The worker had also been diagnosed by two treating psychiatrists with PTSD. Based on our review of the information on file and the additional evidence which is before us, the panel accepts the treating psychiatrists' conclusion that the applicable criteria were met and is satisfied that the worker suffered a psychological injury, diagnosed as PTSD, as described in the DSM-5. Based on our analysis and on the presumption in subsection 4(5.8) of the Act, the panel is further satisfied that the worker's diagnosis of PTSD is an occupational disease, the dominant cause of which is his employment.
The panel notes that employer's representative has argued that the presumption in subsection 4(5.8) of the Act has been rebutted in the circumstances of this case, and that the evidence shows that the major factors in the worker's psychological state were employment-related issues which are expressly excluded from the definition of an accident. The panel is unable to accept that argument.
The panel acknowledges that this case is complicated by a number of employment-related issues. The initial reporting on file refers to several such issues and difficulties, including issues and conflicts with management relating to requests from the worker for accommodations for personal or family reasons. The panel is unable to find, however, that such non-compensable employment-related issues caused or were a major contributor to the worker's compensable psychological injury or PTSD.
Having said that, the panel is convinced that the worker's employment-related matters were what caused the worker to absent himself from work starting March 8, 2019. Thus, while the panel accepts that the worker has suffered a psychological injury as a result of which he may be entitled to certain benefits, the panel does not accept or believe that his compensable PTSD caused him to go off work or to stay off work or resulted in a loss of earning capacity.
In arriving at this conclusion, the panel notes that the worker was able to continue working for over two months after the December 2018 incidents. In a memorandum to file of an initial conversation with the worker on April 2, 2019, the adjudicator noted that the worker referred to his requests for accommodation and that being denied the alternate position he had been offered "…was the straw that broke the camel's back." In a file note of a conversation between the adjudicator and the employer's superintendent of operations on April 3, 2019, the superintendent said that when the worker was advised that the alternate position he now wanted was no longer available, he told her "he was going to get a sick note so they would have to accommodate him" and the note would be for "stress." The evidence indicates the worker left work after that and did not return.
The evidence further shows that the worker eventually returned to work in an alternate position in a different department. The panel notes that the worker indicated at the hearing that he had further employment-related problems in that alternate position, and referred in particular to problems with interacting with co-workers which had also created a lot of stress and anxiety and had caused him to miss time at work.
In the circumstances, the panel is of the view that the cause or primary cause of the worker going off work on March 8, 2019 and staying off work, and resulting loss of earning capacity, was the worker's non-compensable employment-related issues, and not his compensable psychological injury.
Based on the foregoing, the panel finds, on a balance of probabilities, that the worker suffered a workplace injury, diagnosed as PTSD. The panel therefore finds, on a balance of probabilities, that the worker suffered a psychological injury by accident arising out of and in the course of his employment, and his claim is acceptable as indicated above.
The worker's appeal is granted.
M. L. Harrison, Presiding Officer
J. Witiuk, Commissioner
M. Kernaghan, Commissioner
Recording Secretary, J. Lee
M. L. Harrison - Presiding Officer
(on behalf of the panel)
Signed at Winnipeg this 27th day of April, 2021