Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in case of James Oliver Hayden v. Wheeling Pittsburgh Steel Corporation, No. A-80361.
Vincent J. Roskovensky, II, for petitioner.
Thomas J. Duman, Reed, Smith, Shaw & McClay, for respondent, Wheeling Pittsburgh Steel Corporation.
Judges Rogers, Palladino and Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Palladino.
[ 83 Pa. Commw. Page 452]
James Oliver Hayden (Claimant) appeals here from an order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal
[ 83 Pa. Commw. Page 453]
Board (Board) which reversed a referee's grant of compensation benefits under The Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act (Act).*fn1 We reverse.
Claimant worked for Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corporation (Employer) from January 28, 1973 until July 13, 1975. During the last eight months of his employment with the Employer, Claimant worked as a furnace inlet man. Claimant's duties as an inlet man consisted of standing in a hole and, by using a long handled spoon, placing a mixture of coal dust, salt and water into a hot pipe. The placing of this mixture into the pipe resulted in an emission of a particulate and gaseous substance to which Claimant was exposed. On July 13, 1975, after approximately one hour on the job during which time Claimant alleges the smoke was heavier than usual, Claimant experienced a burning and scratching sensation deep in his throat and chest which resulted in him not being able to breathe. Claimant reported this incident to his foreman and subsequently went to the plant dispensary. A physician at the dispensary sent Claimant to a hospital where he was told that he had smoke in his lungs and that his condition would dissipate. Claimant's condition worsened, however, and he was unable to return to work.
Claimant filed his claim petition on September 15, 1975, claiming he was totally disabled from an occupational disease as defined in Section 108(q) of the Act.*fn2 At the scheduled hearing before the referee, Claimant's counsel moved to amend the claim from that of occupational disease to a claim under the general compensation provisions of the Act. The referee granted said motion without objection.
[ 83 Pa. Commw. Page 454]
After the hearing, the referee made the following relevant findings of fact:
6. Your referee finds as a fact that the Claimant did sustain a compensable injury to his ...