Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of Joseph Yontos v. Atlas Electrical Industries, No. A-80055.
Kathleen A. Lenahan, Lenahan & Dempsey, for petitioner.
George W. Teets, for respondent, Joseph Yontos.
Judges Rogers, Williams, Jr. and Craig, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig.
[ 72 Pa. Commw. Page 477]
Atlas Electrical Industries appeals from a Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board order affirming a referee's award of benefits to Joseph Yontos under those sections of The Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act governing the occupational disease of silicosis.*fn1 We affirm.
As found by the referee, Atlas employed Mr. Yontos as a foundry worker in three of its plants from 1960 until March 4, 1976, exposing him to silica dust from molds, silica sand and the grinding of castings. From 1946 to 1960, the Hudson Coal Company had employed Mr. Yontos as a coal miner.
The referee found that Atlas improperly ventilated all three of its plants; employees worked without benefit of protective masks and, depending on the facility, fans and dust collectors were either nonexistent or inoperative. According to Mr. Yontos' uncontradicted testimony, the dust from the molds, silica sand, and grinding was so pervasive that he and his fellow employees had to leave the building periodically for fresh air.
[ 72 Pa. Commw. Page 478]
Dr. Edmund J. Biancarelli, testifying for the claimant on the basis of the occupational history and physical examinations conducted in August of 1977 and 1979, stated that Mr. Yontos had suffered pulmonary impairment and that he was permanently and totally disabled because of accumulated exposure to the hazards of silica dust as a coal miner from 1946 to 1960 and as an Atlas employee from 1960 to 1976:
Q. Based upon the occupational history he gave you, including the years he worked for and the conditions he worked under at Atlas, your examinations and x-rays, do you have an opinion as to whether the work at Atlas either caused the present silicotic condition or aggravated or accelerated any infirmity he might have had as [sic] result of working in the mines so that he's reached his present silicotic condition?
A. Yes, I think that both places where he worked, where he was exposed to silica, contributed to his disease at the time. There is ...