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When is an injury or illness a new case?
  • Part 1904 offers guidance on what is considered a recordable new case of injury or illness.

An injury or illness is considered a new case if:

  • The employee has not previously experienced a recorded injury or illness of the same type that affects the same part of the body, or
  • The employee has previously experienced a recorded injury or illness of the same type that affected the same part of the body but has recovered completely (all signs and symptoms have disappeared) from the previous injury or illness and an event or exposure in the work environment caused the signs or symptoms to reappear.

For occupational illnesses, where the signs or symptoms may recur or continue in the absence of an exposure in the workplace, the case must only be recorded once. Examples may include occupational cancer, asbestosis, byssinosis and silicosis.

For work-related asthma, if an episode or recurrence was caused by an event or exposure in the workplace, the incident must be treated as a new case.

If employers seek advice from a physician on whether a case is a new case, do they have to use that recommendation?

Employers are not required to seek the advice of a physician or other licensed healthcare professional. However, if an employer does seek such advice, they must follow the physician’s or other licensed healthcare professional’s recommendation about whether the case is a new case or a recurrence. If the employer receives recommendations from two or more physicians or other licensed healthcare professionals, they must make a decision as to which recommendation is the most authoritative (best documented, best reasoned, or most authoritative), and record the case based upon that recommendation.