BC Firefighters will now have easier access to supports should they develop cancer as a result of their work.
The province is adding more types of cancer to a list that firefighters are at risk of developing due to their work. They’ve added three more, to bring the total list to 16 types of cancer presumed to be associated with the job. New cancers are ovarian, cervical, and penile cancer.
Firefighters who develop one of the cancers on the list are presumed to have developed cancer from their employment – provided they worked in the industry for a certain period of time. That allows the firefighter to qualify for compensation benefits without the burden of proving the cancer is work related.
The province says it’s also shortening that period of time in employment to qualify for those with testicular, colorectal, and esophageal cancers – which are already listed.
BC Minister of Labour Harry Bains says firefighters face a lot of hazards in their work.
“When it comes to the workers’ compensation system, they shouldn’t have to prove that certain long-term illnesses are work-related in order to access supports,” says Bains.”BC’s firefighters have been asking for this protection, and I am proud to support these people who do so much to keep British Columbians safe.”