Nfld. & Labrador

WHSCC to 'take a look' at case of injured worker Pat Dunphy, says Sandy Collins

The minister responsible for worker's compensation in the province says he will look into the plight of an injured worker from Bay Bulls.
Pat Dunphy and his wife are battling Workers' Compensation for a wheelchair accessible vehicle to get him to and from medical appointments. (CBC)

The minister responsible for Newfoundland and Labrador's workers' compensation system says he will look into the plight of an injured worker from Bay Bulls.

CBC's story on the case of Pat Dunphy last week led to an exchange in the House of Assembly on Monday, prompting Sandy Collins, the minister responsible for injured workers' cases, to say officials will look into the matter.

Pat Dunphy says workers' compensation is not providing him with the safe transportation he needs to get to important medical appointments.

Liberal MP Paul Lane raised Dunphy's case in the legislature, asking why measures were not taken to provide suitable transportation.

"This recent story shows the totally inadequate transportation being provided to Mr. Dunphy to attend required medical appointments," he said. "The video shows that the vehicle being used does not have the appropriate tie-downs and leaves Mr. Dunphy bouncing around in his wheelchair."

Questioning WHSCC process

Lane repeatedly questioned what the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission does to ensure appropriate transportation for injured workers.

"Besides simply making a phone call, and asking a service provider if they have accessible transportation, what specific measures does the workplace health and safety compensation commission take, such as inspections, to ensure that accessible transportation provided to injured workers is safe?" he asked.

Collins responded by saying the process is a complex one that requires unique strategies for each case.

PC MHA Sandy Collins told the House of Assembly on Monday that Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission will look into the case of injured worker Pat Dunphy. (CBC)

"It's a multifaceted approach," he said.

"We look to see if public transportation is accessible, but that's just one piece of it. Accessing the person's injury and how that injury and how that came about, that's another part of the work that the commission does as well."

Collins said while he couldn't comment specifically on Dunphy's case, "I feel for the gentleman and I want to make sure that all services that are able to be provided to him certainly are."

Collins said he believes that is the case, "but I'll be more than willing to take a look into it."

He added, "People look at workplace health and safety as challenges, I look at is as opportunity — places we can improve, and we have been doing that the last numbers of years."

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