Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine
Saskatchewan firefighters will be eligible for presumptive coverage for six new cancers following the announcement of amendments to the Worker’s Compensation Act, 2013 on December 4, 2018.
Firefighters can now file workers’-compensation claims for prostate, skin, breast, cervical and ovarian cancer, as well as multiple myeloma under the occupational-disease presumption. The newly-added cancers also recognize the changing demographics among firefighters, with half the new cancers headed primarily or only impacting women.
Labour Relations and Workplace Safety Minister, Don Morgan says firefighters faced great risk in their line of work. “They also face a potential of dealing with occupational diseases related to their chosen profession.”
Applicants will need to provide a diagnosis and other required information from a medical professional to support their claim for compensation.
What is presumptive legislation?
Presumptive legislation allows the government to identify, through regulations, specific diseases or heart injuries of firefighters that would be presumed to be work-related for the purpose of workers’ compensation, unless the contrary is shown. The WSIB would presume the disease or heart injury to be work-related unless it could be demonstrated that it was caused by other factors, such as non-work-related exposure or hereditary factors.
Section 21 (1) of the OHSA states,
“The Minister may appoint committees, which are not committees as defined in subsection 1 (1), or persons to assist or advise the Minister on any matter arising under this Act or to inquire into and report to the Minister on any matter that the Minister considers advisable.”
I am glad that the province of Saskatchewan is catching up. Ontario completed the same type of legislation a few years ago and added money to deal with the possible increase in caseloads. All of the provinces need to recognize the dangers out firefighters face every day and the need to better protect them.
Ensure your workplace is a safe place.
Remember – “ALL Accidents are Preventable”
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.