Proceedings paper

Scand J Work Environ Health 1995;21 suppl 2:111-114    pdf

Policy development for compensating workers exposed to crystalline silica in Ontario, Canada

by Elinson L, Yeung KS

The Ontario Workers' Compensation Board develops policy for diseases by considering scientific information within legal, political, and social contexts. The purpose of this paper is to describe the process used to develop a policy for lung cancer among gold miners and to examine the extent to which this process assists the development of similar guidelines for workers with silica dust exposure. The scientific and policy questions are similar, both requiring consultation with stakeholders. To improve the development process for the gold miner policy, consultation for silica and lung cancer needs to be more inclusive. The resulting procedures would also need to be precise enough to assist adjudicators to make decisions without limiting their ability to decide each claim on the merits of the case. The major challenge is to ensure that the final policy is scientifically and legally supportable and acceptable to both workers and employers.