Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) has announced that it will re-examine more than 250 claims which were previously denied, in connection with General Electric’s Peterborough plant. All claims were filed since 2004.
“The Peterborough community has presented information that helps clarify the exposures people had to various chemicals and substances,” said Armando Fatigati, WSIB’s vice-president of complex claims. “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.”
The WSIB says the review team will look at:
- Some types of cancer where updated scientific research supports linkages between specific levels of chemical exposures and specific illnesses.
- Claims where advances in technology may allow next-of-kin to be identified who had previously not been.
- Claims where a greater understanding of the intensity of exposure and/or number of agents exposed to, may impact the decision.
Peterborough MPP Jeff Leal and Labour Minister Kevin Flynn released a joint statement shortly after the WSIB made its announcement.
“This commitment by the WSIB to take another look at more than 250 cases that were previously not allowed is something we have been calling for,” their statement read. “These cases should receive a proper examination, and it’s critical that all eligible workers are awarded the benefits they deserve. It’s encouraging that these cases are being reconsidered in a very expeditious process, and the WSIB has assured us that they will get workers results as quickly as possible.”
Since 1993, the WSIB has heard more than 2,400 claims regarding the Peterborough plant. The WSIB states that 80 per cent of those claims were allowed.
People can call 1-800-387-0750 or visit wsib.on.ca/GEPeterborough to learn more and file a claim.
Last month, General Electric announced it would close the Peterborough plant, which employs more than 350 people. GE has operated in Peterborough since 1892.