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AMERICAN ST. GOBAIN CORPORATION AND PENNSYLVANIA MANUFACTURERS' ASSOCIATION INSURANCE COMPANY v. WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD AND ELIZABETH KORDALSKI (01/07/74)

decided: January 7, 1974.

AMERICAN ST. GOBAIN CORPORATION AND PENNSYLVANIA MANUFACTURERS' ASSOCIATION INSURANCE COMPANY, INSURANCE CARRIER, APPELLANTS,
v.
WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD AND ELIZABETH KORDALSKI, WIDOW OF FRANK E. KORDALSKI, DECEASED, APPELLEES



Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of Elizabeth Kordalski, widow of Frank E. Kordalski, deceased, v. American St. Gobain Corp. and Penna. Mfrs. Assn. Ins. Co., No. A-64553.

COUNSEL

H. Reginald Belden, with him Stewart, Belden, Sensenich and Herrington, for appellants.

Robert P. Crum, with him Crum & Crum, for appellee.

Judges Kramer, Mencer and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Mencer.

Author: Mencer

[ 11 Pa. Commw. Page 389]

Frank E. Kordalski (Kordalski), at the time of his death on November 5, 1964, was employed by the American St. Gobain Corporation (American) as a breaker in its Arnold Plant. He had been working in this capacity for approximately five years. One of his duties

[ 11 Pa. Commw. Page 390]

    as a breaker was to remove sheets of glass from a tank and place them on a cart which was then hauled to the cutting room by other employees.

The sheets of glass which the breaker removes from the tank are formed by a machine into which molten glass is poured. If a glassmaking machine breaks down or has to be cleaned, the correctional or cleaning operation must be performed by the breakers. This operation is called a "skimming operation." It requires the removal of molten glass and impurities from the top of the melted glass in the tank with a ladle. The glass which is removed is then placed in a cast iron kettle. The kettle is an iron pot about 26 to 30 inches in diameter at the top. It tapers small towards the bottom. The pot rests on a swivel which is attached to the axle. There is a metal wheel at each end of the axle about 10 inches to 12 inches in diameter. Extending back from the kettle is a handle about four feet in length. There is also a leg, in the rear, extending down from the kettle to the ground, so that when the kettle is stationary it rests on the two wheels up front and the leg in the back. When full, it weighs 400 to 450 pounds. It is then pushed by lifting up the handle and exerting a forward pressure. The kettle is pushed outside the building where it is dumped by tipping it over. Sometimes glass sticks to the kettle so that another operation is required to get all of the glass out of the kettle. After the kettle is dumped, the employee wheels it back into the building to a section where kettles are stored. The kettles are moved over metal sheets and concrete to the dumping area. Kordalski performed this operation on an average of once a month as part of his duties whenever this "skimming operation" was required.

On the day of his death, Kordalski reported for work at 8 a.m. The glassmaking machine to which he was assigned was broken down, so it became his task to perform the "skimming operation." He loaded the kettle,

[ 11 Pa. Commw. Page 391]

    wheeled it to the yard to empty it, and returned to the building. He chatted with a fellow employee for about five minutes and, as he started to walk away, he fell and soon thereafter died as a result of a coronary occlusion.

On March 4, 1966, Elizabeth Kordalski, widow of Frank E. Kordalski, filed a fatal claim petition under The Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act,*fn1 alleging that her husband had suffered a coronary occlusion due to overexertion during the course of his employment and this resulted in his death. The Referee dismissed the fatal claim petition on June 10, 1971. The Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board ...


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