COVID-19: Successful Workers’ Compensation Appeal

We are facing extremely challenging times not only personally but in our industry as a whole.  In the spirit of providing up-to-date, useful information, we would like to apprise you of some developments specific to a recent decision put out by the Workers’ Compensation Board of British Columbia and the recent acceptance of a cabin crew member’s claim for COVID-19 contraction at work.

A cabin crew member applied for compensation for contracting coronavirus (COVID-19).

WorksafeBC accepted the claim under Section 136 of the Workers’ Compensation Act.

Air Canada requested a review of the decision submitting that the worker’s illness was not caused by their employment.  The company provided evidence that the risk of transmission is relatively low.  The crew member, represented by CUPE, submitted that they contracted the illness on one of the flights they were operating. All submissions were disclosed in accordance with the Review Division Practices and Procedures.

The issue under review was whether the worker’s claim for COVID-19 should be accepted.

Reasons & Decision
Based on the available information on the claim, the Board found that the evidence supports that the nature of the employment did create a significantly greater risk of contracting COVID-19 than that in the public at large and that the “work” was of causative significance in contracting the disease.

Air Canada submitted that personal protective equipment including gloves, mask and hand sanitizer were provided as of March 17, 2020, as part of the multi-layered strategy to protect crew members against coronavirus along with a study from the Journal of American Medical Association which concluded that the risk of exposure and transmission of COVID-19 in air travel is low. The crew member provided evidence that an N95 mask was not available prior to March 22, 2020, although it appears that surgical masks were provided, the evidence provided showed that masks were not mandatory.

The Board maintained it was satisfied that the nature of the crew member’s employment created a risk of contracting COVID-19 significantly greater than the ordinary exposure risk of the public at large. The Board was unable to place significant weight on the study provided by Air Canada as it suggests the risk of transmission on flights is low, as it only considered the risk of transmission from one passenger to another.  The study did not address the risk to cabin crew members who would be in contact with many passengers and move throughout the aircraft.

The Board determined that it was not necessary to determine exactly how or from whom the worker caught COVID-19 as Policy item C4-28.00 states “that a worker with a contagious disease need not name a contact and circumstantial evidence can be considered”.  The evidence supports that the worker had exposure to person(s) with COVID-19 on at least one lengthy flight.

WorksafeBC accepted the claim and found that the worker was exposed to COVID-19 at work and that the nature of the work was such that the exposure risk was significantly greater than that of the general public at the time.  WorksafeBC concluded that it is at least “likely” that the worker’s employment was of causative significance in the development of COVID-19.

This resulted in a denial of Air Canada’s request to reverse the decision and a WIN for our member. Therefore, the review board sided with the worker and Approval of the claim stands. It is always a pleasure when we are able to share good news with you.  Please continue to take care of yourselves and each other.

Click HERE to view the publicly rendered decision.

In Solidarity,

Your Component Workers’ Compensation Committee

COVID-19 – Filing a Workplace Insurance Claim

Dear members and esteemed colleagues, we are facing extremely challenging times not only personally but in our industry.  We are all in this together and in the spirit of providing up-to-date useful information we have developed this communication and will be closely monitoring the situation and we will do our best to provide updated information regularly. We strongly recommend that you regularly check updated information using links included within.

THIS IS WHAT WE KNOW TODAY, as the situation is rapidly changing:

→ FIRST – Follow Public Health Guidelines

If you are concerned that you may have been exposed to, or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, please contact or your local public health unit.

Health link
British Columbia  
Health Link
Telehealth Ontario
Gouvernement du Québec
1 877 644-4545

COVID-19 symptoms range from common to severe respiratory illnesses and include:
• Fever
• Cough
• Muscle aches and tiredness
• Difficulty breathing

In an effort to keep COVID-19 patients away from the emergency rooms, the province is setting up dedicated screening facilities.  Do not call 911 unless it is an emergency.

The first assessment centres will be established at the following hospitals/health facilities:

YVR Base



BC COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool

British Columbians can call 811 for free from anywhere in the province to speak with a registered nurse about their health, including the novel coronavirus and COVID-19. The hotline is for anyone who suspects they have the illness, are showing symptoms related to COVID-19.

Hotline 1-888-COVID19 or 1-888-268-4319, between 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day, for the latest information on travel recommendations, social distancing, and supports and resources available from the provincial and federal governments.

YYC Base






If you have symptoms such as fever, cough and difficulty breathing and have travelled outside Canada or have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19, stay home and call Health Link 811. If you are not seriously ill, do not go to a physician’s office, a health care facility or a lab without consulting with Health Link 811 first. Call 911 if you are seriously ill and need immediate medical attention and inform them that you may have COVID-19.

YYZ Mainline & Rouge Bases

North York General Hospital 4001 Leslie St, North York, ON M2K 1E1 Scarborough Health Network 3050 Lawrence Ave E, Scarborough, ON M1P 2V5 Mackenzie Health, Ilan Ramon Blvd, Vaughan, ON
L6A 4P9
Trillium Health Partners 100 Queensway W, Mississauga, ON
L5B 1B8
Peel Memorial Centre for Integrated Health and Wellness 20 Lynch St, Brampton, ON
L6W 2Z8

The following COVID-19 Community Assessment Centres are/will be available to facilitate testing for possible cases of the coronavirus.

Toronto’s Michael Garron Hospital 825 Coxwell Ave
COVID-19 screening and assessment centre for people with signs and symptoms (by appointment only which they assess when you call)
Toronto Public Health
St. Michael’s Hospital Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute
38 Shuter St, Toronto
On site testing for COVID-19
Women’s College Hospital
76 Grenville St, Toronto
COVID-19 Community Assessment Centre site soon

YUL Mainline & Rouge Bases

Gouvernement du Québec

Santé Montréal

If you think you have COVID-19 infection, call 1 877 644-4545 (toll free) first. A nurse will assess your situation and recommend what to do next. If a medical consultation in a specialized COVID-19 clinic is required, the nurse will book an appointment for you. If your state of health indicates that you require hospitalization, the Jewish General (adults) and Sainte-Justine’s (children) are the hospitals designated to treat confirmed cases.





→ SECOND – How to file a Workplace Insurance Claim due to COVID-19 exposure?

WORKSAFE BC – filing a claim in British Columbia
Report a workplace injury or disease

  • Call Teleclaim @ 1-888-WORKERS (1.888.967.5377)


CNESST – Filing a claim in Quebec (Mainline & Rouge Bases)

WSIB ONTARIO – verbal direction from the WSIB (Mainline & Rouge Bases)

  • Follow the Public Health directives and self quarantine
  • File a WSIB FORM 6 and upload it electronically or mail it to the WSIB                                      
  • Contact the WSIB directly by phone and explain that you are a cabin crew member who has filed a FORM 6 but cannot file the FORM 8 yet as you are in quarantine
  • After the quarantine period has ended or testing positive for COVID-19 have your doctor file a FORM 8
  • Provide a copy of FORM 8 immediately to Air Canada Base Management, retain a copy for your records
  • If you are having difficulty getting an appointment with a doctor or clinic to have FORM 8 completed call the WSIB immediately and seek directive
  • Continue to keep the WSIB updated on your situation if you have filed a claim
  • You have six months from the date of the accident or occupational disease, from the time you learn of the diagnosis to file a claim


Workplace Safety & Insurance Board
200 Front Street West
Toronto, Ontario M5V 3J1
Telephone: 416-344-1000
Toll free: 1-800-387-0750
WSIB COVID-19 Update

→ THIRD – Continue to follow Air Canada Sick Leave Policy and monitor Communications

Air Canada COVID-19 UPDATE
Please pay attention to your health at all times and remain in communication with your Wellness Team. If you develop fever, cough, or have difficulty breathing, please seek guidance from your health provider and if directed to do so, self-isolate to be excluded from working flights until cleared.

We have a through and immediate process that we use to notify you if you have been on a flight with a confirmed COVID-19. We provide you with clear guidance and remove you from your flights with pay for up to 14 days beginning on the date you were exposed to a confirmed passenger. We remain fully committed to this process that helps limit the virus spread, protects privacy and ensures that you are made aware as soon as possible of any possible exposure.

Air Canada Network route suspensions
Please continue to check for the most up-to-date route suspension information.

Air Canada Mainline Sick Leave Policy E-Pub
Home > About You > Performance and Expectations > Attendance

Air Canada Rouge Sick Leave Policy E-Pub
Acaeronet > Rouge > Manuals-Forms > Cabin Safety and Inflight Service > ePub

Please take care of yourselves and each other.

In Solidarity,

Your Component Workers’ Compensation Committee

Click HERE for a printable, and downloadable, version of this bulletin.

Hearing Protection and Occupational Noise Induced Hearing Loss

Depending on your age and where you are at in your career, hearing may be an issue for you more from a preventative or a post-exposure claims perspective. Our two committees have worked together to provide information on how to protect your hearing, document exposure to environments that may be hazardous to your hearing, and how to go about making a claim in the event that noise induced hearing loss has occurred.

It’s important for us to point out that the best way to address hearing loss is to prevent it from happening. This takes some effort, but you only have two ears! Hearing loss is irreversible, and claims are very difficult to prove – especially when exposure hasn’t been diligently documented.

Preventing Noise Induced Hearing Loss and Documenting Exposures:

  • Know what kinds of noises can affect your hearing. Common noises include very loud galley sink drains (whistling), blown door seals, engine/APU noise at destinations that use air stairs.
  • Wear hearing protection when in proximity to loud noises. At Mainline, the company provides 3M Taper-fit II earplugs to all cabin crew. These earplugs fit most (but not all) ear types and come with instructions on how to insert. They are available at all crew support centres from the support coordinators. If you do not have a pair, we recommend that you pick one up so that you have them if the need arises. For Rouge members ask your R room coordinator or manager.

Earplugs are only effective if worn correctly. If they don’t fit, report it in a health and safety complaint and request an alternate size (ex for small ear canals).

  • Remove yourself from the immediate vicinity to the greatest extent possible.
  • Log issues so that they get fixed. Remember to keep a record (photo or log entry number) as this information may be very difficult, if not impossible to track later on.
  • File a health and safety complaint about the source of noise/exposure including:

– Source of noise hazard
– Log entry info

Proper logging and reporting will enable the company to address issues, preventing re-occurrence. It also documents your exposure and provides valuable data for your health and safety committees to continue working with the company to provide appropriate Personal Protective Equipment.

If your hearing loss is work-related, you can submit a claim for provincial compensation benefits.  The example outlined within this bulletin will address how to apply for benefits specifically with WSIB however individual provinces follow similar framework.

Please see links below to file for a claim in provinces with Air Canada Bases and former Bases.

British Columbia Alberta Manitoba Quebec Nova Scotia

Noise-induced hearing loss is one of the most common occupational diseases, and one of the most preventable. Learn more about noise hazards in the workplace and find health and safety resources for Ontario workplaces.

Making a claim for noise-induced hearing loss (ONIHL):
If you think you may have noise-induced hearing loss, you should see an audiologist. Audiologists are hearing professionals and can perform tests to check your hearing. Talk to your doctor about your hearing and ask to see an audiologist.

If you have had a hearing test and/or have been diagnosed with hearing loss that you feel may be caused by working in one or more noisy Ontario workplaces you should file a claim for noise-induced hearing loss. The process is similar in other provinces – please speak to your local workers compensation specialist.  In Ontario, you can make a claim through your:

  • employer,
  • doctor,
  • audiologist,
  • hearing instrument practitioner,
  • union,
  • a representative of your choice or,
  • you can file your own claim.

To file your own claim, download a Worker’s Report of Occupational Noise Induced Hearing Loss and mail or fax, or call 416-344-1000 or toll-free 1-800-387-0750. You will need your current address, date of birth, Social Insurance Number, the date of your hearing tests, the name of your health practitioner or clinic and their address and telephone number.

Ontario WSIB have specially trained team of noise-induced hearing loss adjudicators, audiologists and occupational hygienists who have experience with noise-induced hearing loss. Once WSIB receive information about your claim, they will assign you a claim number and a noise-induced hearing loss adjudicator. Your noise-induced hearing loss adjudicator will contact you to provide you with your claim number and collect any additional information they need to make a decision in your claim. WSIB will then review information from you, your employer(s), and your health-care provider to decide if you are entitled to WSIB benefits.

WSIB need you to provide them with information about noise exposure in your workplace(s) and your medical diagnosis of noise-induced hearing loss including:

  • Description of your symptoms and when you first became aware of your hearing problems
  • Detailed information about your previous jobs and employers, including dates of employment, how long you worked at the job and the types of tasks you did on the job
  • Names and addresses of all doctors, audiologists and/or hearing instrument practitioners you have seen regarding your hearing loss, and the dates of all visits

Each claim is unique and decision times can vary. For allowed noise-induced hearing loss claims, your benefits may include Health care, which could include life entitlement to hearing aids, their repair, ongoing maintenance, batteries, and hearing assistive technologies.

If WSIB makes a decision that you do not agree with, the first step would be to discuss the issue with the noise-induced hearing loss adjudicator who made the decision. You can also visit our appeals webpage to learn more about our appeals process.

Noise-induced hearing loss is different from traumatic hearing loss. If your hearing loss is due to sudden exposure to noise, physical injury or chemical exposure at work, you can call 416-344-1000 or 1-800-387-0750 see WSIB Policy15-04-01 Traumatic Hearing Loss.

WSIB Policies
Noise-induced hearing loss is considered an occupational disease under Sections 2(1) and 15 of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act (WSIA).

When making a decision on noise-induced hearing loss claims, WSIB are guided by these policies:

WSIB Forms
The following forms need to be filled out to establish a hearing loss claim:

  • Worker’s Report of Injury/Disease Form 6
  • Worker’s Report Occupational Noise Induced Hearing Loss

These forms need to be filled out by doctor/audiologist:

  • Health Professional’s Report (Form 8)
  • Hearing Aid Special Needs Request

The process for claiming occupational hearing loss:
Establish a claim by keeping track of the following:

  • Incidents of ringing in the ear(s)
  • Incidents of working near noisy parts of the aircraft
  • Entries in the Cabin Defect Log of noisy/whistling door seals
  • Getting hearing tested and establishing proof of hearing loss
  • Follow the work-related injury/illness process

In Solidarity,

Jordan Bray-Stone
Chair, Health & Safety Committee

Tamara Di Maddalena
Chair, Workers Compensation Committee