As many California workers are aware, in the world of workers' compensation, some disabling conditions are more difficult than others when it comes to proving that they stemmed from workplace conditions. One such case was recently decided in favor of a worker who suffered a stroke at work but was granted benefits after he was able to show that his job conditions contributed to his workplace illness.
The man is now paralyzed on the left side of his body and is unlikely to regain the mobility he once had, essentially rendering him permanently disabled. The job that the man had at the time of his stroke was very demanding: he worked in the "hot room" at a foundry in close proximity to furnaces.
The 50-year-old man, who had worked at the Pennsylvania foundry for more than two decades, routinely wore welding clothes under a fire suit for protection, and he testified that the temperature in his work areas was about 100 degrees. His work entailed carrying heavy items up stairs, taking readings of the furnace's temperature, and using a jackhammer at the mouth of the furnace to keep the opening free of slag.
The medical expert from the company argued that the worker's high blood pressure was the cause of his medical event. However, the judge hearing the case sided with the worker. He will now receive two-thirds of his weekly compensation plus medical payments for costs incurred when he had the stroke. The company has appealed the judge's decision to an appeals board.
Source: The Morning Call, "Victaulic foundry employee wins workers' comp for on-the-job stroke," Peter Hall, Feb. 20, 2012