When an employee experiences the signs or symptoms of a chronic work-related illness, is each recurrence of a sign or symptom considered to be a new case?
No, where signs or symptoms recur or continue in the absence of an exposure in the workplace, the case must only be recorded once. Examples include occupational cancer, asbestosis, byssinosis and silicosis.
When the signs or symptoms of an injury or illness recur as a result of a workplace event or exposure
(e.g. an episode of occupational asthma) is the episode considered a new case?
Yes, because the recurrence was caused by an event or exposure in the workplace.
May I rely on a physician or other licensed health care professional to determine whether a case is a new case or a recurrence of an old case?
The advice of a physician or other licensed health care professional is not required. However, if such advice is sought the recommendation must be followed. If two or more recommendations are received the employer must make a decision as to which is the most
authoritative (i.e. best documented or reasoned) and record the case based upon that recommendation.