Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine
The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) in Toronto will review more than 300 claims filed by rubber workers in the Kitchener-Waterloo area since 2002 that had not previously been allowed.
Between 2002 and 2017, WSIB received claims for a variety of illnesses and cancers from employees who worked with several companies in the rubber industry in that area.
“I am very deeply concerned by recent reports about the very serious health issues facing people who worked in the rubber industry and our community,” WSIB chair Elizabeth Witmer says in a statement on December 10, 2018. “I have asked for review to ensure we are applying the latest science and evidence to make decisions about these claims.”
The review of both cancer and non-cancer -related claims will focus on some types of cancers were updated scientific research supports linkages between specific levels of chemical exposures and specific illnesses. It will also examine claims were a greater understanding of the intensity of exposure and/or number of agents exposed to may affect the decision.
This is the second report on WSIB completing reviews on previous claims that were either discounted or rejected. In Peterborough, the GE plant went through the same process not that long ago and many of the rejected claims were excepted because of the new scientific research that links certain chemicals with certain cancers and other illnesses.
It is a big job that they WSIB has when dealing with claims. I remember when the firefighter claims were denied in the 60s to the 90s and have now been covered.
Scientific research is ongoing and I hope that all claims that can be attributed to chemical exposure can be rectified and accepted. The worker and the family needs closure and the financial aid and will continue to need far into the future.
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Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.