Enhanced Cancer Coverage for Firefighters
Prince George, B.C. – Good news for firefighters in B.C.
The provincial government has announced it plans to move ahead with an amendment to the Firefighters Occupational Disease Regulation under the Workers Compensation Act to add presumptions for breast cancer, prostate cancer and multiple myeloma as occupational diseases for firefighters.
A presumption means if a professional or volunteer firefighter develops one of the listed cancers after a certain period of employment, it is presumed that the cancer arose from their employment.
The firefighter is then eligible for worker ‘s compensation benefits without having to provide evidence that the cancer is work-related.
Victoria first recognized certain cancers as occupational diseases for firefighters in 2005. Those presumptions include: brain, bladder, colorectal, kidney, ureter, testicular, lung, esophageal, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and leukemia.
Gord Ditchburn, B.C. Professional Firefighters Association president and board chair, says he’s very thankful for the enhanced coverage.
“The addition of these presumptive coverages will benefit firefighters in every region of British Columbia, including the families who are often the ones left to navigate the claims process with WorkSafeBC.
“Firefighters are exposed to toxic environments that greatly contribute to increased cancer risks, more than double that of the general population.”