Bullying leads to worker’s death and widow’s WCB award

The widow of a deceased worker has been awarded WCB benefits after a Court rules that her husband’s cardiac arrest was linked to workplace bullying.

Social hierarchies are an ancient phenomenon traceable to the earliest and simplest forms of life. Even lowly single-celled amoebas self-organize along hierarchical lines.

Scaling upward in the animal kingdom tells a similar story. In canine societies for instance, alpha males viscously harass the submissive omegas. Survival of the pack largely depends on the strength of alphas, but in turn, weaker members of the group endure constant abuse.

And so it’s fair to conclude that dominance hierarchies are a law of nature, a fact of life with pros and cons. In the struggle for equitable social order, we row against an evolutionary tide that rewards survival of the fittest.

The case of Eric Donovan, 47, is a reminder of this stark reality. Donovan reportedly suffered “intense abuse” at work until his heart suddenly stopped. The WCB award to his wife was “based on a finding of severe bullying that induced a fatal heart attack.”

The Donovan case sends an important message to employers about the necessity of enforcing anti-bullying policies.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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About Me

Ben Barfett, Principal and Consultant, has spent his life in the construction sector, specifically heavy civil, enviro, commercial, and energy. Having held senior roles in business development, technical advisory, and regional management, he earned his stripes in the field and in head office. Conscious of the interplay between commercial, legal, and execution aspects of construction, his business insights are informed by expertise in WCB policy and enhanced with disability-specific training. 

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Blue Collar Consulting

Blue Collar Consulting is a WCB and disability management firm. The company specializes in rapid and affordable disability solutions that advance current claims, contain the cost of future claims, and get injured workers back on their feet. 

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