Foot cellulitis is compensable if it was caused by unfit shoes issued by the company to its workers, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) today said.

The Employees Compensation Commission (ECC), in a report to Labor and Employment Secretary Patricia A. Sto. Tomas said, workers who acquired the disease during their employment are entitled to temporary total disability benefits and medical reimbursement for the treatment of the disease under PD 626, as amended.

The ECC, an agency under the DOLE, has ruled that the case of Ramon Hembra, a carpenter-seaman of Magsaysay Maritime Corporation, was compensable contrary to an earlier decision by the Social Security System (SSS) that the ailment had nothing to do with the claimant’s employment and cellulitis is not an occupational disease.

In a ruling in favor of Hembra, the ECC said that Hembra used company-issued shoes not fitted to his feet, thus, causing irritation to his right foot. The irritation was due to frequent rubbing which may have caused his cellulitis and possible necrosis. Medical findings have shown that skin trauma, ulceration, and dermatitis are predisposing factors that may have contributed to the development of cellulitis.

In another case, ECC awarded five days of temporary total disability benefits and medical reimbursement to Robert Manuel, a merchandiser of Uniwide Sales, Inc. for his work-related injury but denied his claim for his non-work connected ilio tibial impungement syndrome.

Ilio tibial impungement syndrome is a disorder of the lower thigh caused by repetitive friction between bone and muscle. The disorder may arise from overuse of a normal thigh by a normal person like a distance runner. The ailment therefore has nothing to do with the injury that Manuel sustained when he fell while arranging goods while he was at work.

In the event of work-related sickness or injury resulting in disability or death, workers or their dependents may file their EC claims with the Social Security System for private sector and Government Service Insurance System for public sector.

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