Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of John Andrachek, Jr. v. Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corporation, No. A-73322.
Francis P. Massco, for petitioner.
Edwin H. Beachler, with him McArdle, Caroselli, Spagnolli and Beachler, for respondents.
Judges Mencer, DiSalle and Craig, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig.
[ 41 Pa. Commw. Page 267]
Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corporation (employer) appeals from a decision of the Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board) awarding compensation to John Andrachek, Jr. (claimant) for disfigurement on the right side of his nose as a result of blisters occurring from the extreme heat on three separate dates in his work as blast furnace first helper.
The referee disallowed compensation on the ground that "extreme heat and burns are incidental to claimant's employment."
The Board set aside that finding of the referee and made its own finding "that extreme heat and burns are not incidental to claimant's employment. . . ." The Board concluded that claimant was entitled to compensation.
This case is governed by the same statutory and case law as that applicable in a companion case, Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corporation v. Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board, 41 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 279, 398 A.2d 1107 (1979), which was consolidated for argument with the present case.
Here, however, the referee, as well as the Board, found that there was disfigurement, so that the only issue, under Section 306(c)(22) of The Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act,*fn1 77 P.S. § 513(22), was whether or not the disfigurement was "usually incident to the employment."
[ 41 Pa. Commw. Page 268]
The referee's finding was based upon evidence that claimant had previously suffered burns -- in 1967 and 1970, and a blister on his finger in 1977 -- as well as upon a job description that a first helper is "exposed to severe burns from hot metal and slag."
The Board, however, correctly distinguished the present disfigurement from the previous burns.*fn2 The Board points out that the present disfigurement, unlike the previous burns, was caused by exposure to an unusually high temperature which caused blisters and aggravated them. Contact with hot ...