Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of Jacob Barron v. G.M. & W. Coal Co., No. A-70838.
George H. Thompson, with him Hirsch, Weise & Tillman, for appellant.
Eugene A. Creany, with him James N. Diefenderfer, for appellees.
Judges Kramer, Rogers and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Rogers.
[ 29 Pa. Commw. Page 139]
Jacob Barron was employed by the G.M. & W. Coal Co. as a maintenance and general utility man. His usual duties consisted of maintaining the conveyor belt lines in the employer's mine, and spreading rock dust whenever needed to keep the coal dust at safe levels. In addition to those duties Mr. Barron had, until three weeks prior to his injury on September 14, 1973, performed fire inspections which required him to walk two or three miles through the mine each morning before reporting for his regular shift at 7:00 o'clock A.M.
When performing his maintenance and utility duties, the claimant frequently had the assistance of a
[ 29 Pa. Commw. Page 140]
helper. On September 14, 1975, he had no helper to assist him. Shortly after arriving at the conveyor belt area to begin work on that day, Mr. Barron felt dizzy. He rested at an air course for approximately twenty minutes and the dizziness left. He returned to work, spread a fifty pound bag of rock dust and cleaned the conveyor belt. While spreading the contents of another bag of rock dust, he "felt a pain coming on," fainted, regained consciousness and again fainted. He was placed on a stretcher unconscious and taken out of the mine and immediately to a hospital. Mr. Barron has been unable to return to work.
After many examinations, it was determined that Mr. Barron was suffering from a somewhat rare disease called sick sinus syndrome, a disease of the sinus node, a minute part of the heart which functions as a natural pacemaker.
The referee found that Mr. Barron's illness arose in the course of his employment and was related thereto and awarded compensation for total disability. The Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board affirmed and the present appeal by G.M. & W. Coal Co. followed.
The question of whether or not the claimant suffered a compensable injury is controlled by Section 301(c)(1) of The Workmen's Compensation Act (Act),*fn1 which reads as follows:
The terms 'injury' and 'personal injury,' as used in this act, shall be construed to mean an injury to an employe, regardless of his previous physical condition, arising in the course of his employment and related thereto, and such disease or infection as naturally results from the injury or is ...