The Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC) granted disability benefits to a retired electrician who suffered from a work-related low back pain.
The electrician worked for a mining company for over thirty years. During his employment, he was responsible for maintaining for electrical devices and equipment. He was also asked to make electrical plans, troubleshoot and conduct electrical safety inspections on the different buildings and structures within the company premises. However, his main work area was in the underground tunnels where he was exposed to the different elements that had contributed to his physical condition.
In January 1999, he was diagnosed to have low back pain syndrome. In 2013, he experienced lumbar strain which was affecting the lower part of his spine.
In March 2018, he retired from the service.
The retired electrician filed a claim for EC disability benefits at the SSS-Baguio Branch in October 2019. However, the EC claim was denied on the ground of no causal relationship to the nature of his work and the physical findings do not show permanent impairment. In September 2020, the SSS-Main Office also denied the claim since there was no history of trauma or injury during employment to warrant the grant of EC disability benefit.
On appeal, ECC ruled in favor of the retired electrician. The Commission said that the electrician’s job description showed that while employed he performed handling of heavy equipment such as generators or electric motors which necessitated moving and installation either physically or with the assistance of crane or pulleys. His occupation entailed physical and manual work and the trauma he sustained in the course of his employment led to the manifestation of his illness. Thus, there is a connection between the electrician’s job and his low back pain.
The ECC reversed the decision of the SSS and granted EC disability benefits to the retired electrician.
The ECC, an attached agency of the Department of Labor and Employment, is tasked to review appealed EC claims denied by the SSS and the GSIS.
D. Lee – CAR
(A. Ramos Case)