British Columbia is joining several other provinces in recognizing that firefighters are susceptible to certain types of cancers.
Under proposed amendments to the Workers’ Compensation Act, several forms of cancer will be recognized as occupational diseases associated with long-term employment as a firefighter. These are: primary site brain cancer, primary site bladder cancer, primary site kidney cancer, primary non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, primary site ureter cancer, primary site colorectal cancer and primary leukemia.
The new legislation will create a rebuttable presumption that these cancers were caused by employment as a firefighter, if the individual has been employed for a specified period of time. The Workers’ Compensation Board or the employer would then have the onus of establishing reasons to deny compensation to the worker.