B.C. adds three cancers to list of firefighters’ illnesses eligible for coverage

By The Canadian Press
March 6, 2017 - 1:41pm

VANCOUVER — The British Columbia government is adding three types of cancer to those that could be considered occupational diseases suffered by firefighters.

A release from the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training says breast cancer, prostate cancer and multiple myeloma will be added to the Firefighters Occupational Disease Regulation under the Workers Compensation Act.

Firefighters developing those diseases after a certain period of time on the job would be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits without having to prove the cancer is work-related.

The province says it first recognized certain cancers as occupational diseases for firefighters in 2005.

A list of those cancers has now grown to 10 and includes brain, bladder and testicular cancer, as well as leukemia.

The release from the ministry says in 2014, heart disease and heart injury were also restored as illnesses presumed to be conditions developed by firefighters. 

“Firefighters are exposed to toxic environments that greatly contribute to increased cancer risks, more than double that of the general population,” says B.C. Professional Firefighters Association president and board chairman Gord Ditchburn.

Members across B.C. are expected to benefit from the additional coverage, as will their families who Ditchburn says are often the ones who must navigate the coverage process with WorkSafeBC. 

The Canadian Press

Vancouver police say protests against Trump tower opening cost an estimate $105k

Join the Discussion

We are happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules: Keep it clean, keep it civil, keep it truthful, stay on topic, be responsible, share your knowledge, and please suggest removal of comments that violate these standards. See full commenting rules.