Ontario expands automatic firefighter cancer payouts

The Canadian province of Ontario is extending a system that presumes certain cancers in firefighters qualify for compensation payouts. The new system adds cervical, ovarian and penile cancers to those covered by the scheme.

With the expanded ‘presumption’ that these cancers are caused by the job, firefighters diagnosed with these three types of cancer will encounter an expedited process for benefits and will not be required to prove a causal link between these cancers and a workplace exposure, according to an Ontario Ministry of Labour statement. Claims related to these three cancers “will be retroactive” to 1 January 1960, the statement said.

In 2007, the province’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Act was amended to create a statutory presumption for firefighters and fire investigators to get compensation for heart injuries and certain cancers without having to prove they are work-related. The list was expanded in 2014 to cover the following cancers; brain, bladder, ureter, kidney, colorectal, oesophageal, breast, testicular, prostate, lung, skin, leukaemia, non-Hodgkin lymphoma and multiple myeloma.

A 2017 study, Burden of Occupational Cancer in Ontario, concluded there are ‘many opportunities’ to reduce the number of occupational cancers and found solar radiation, asbestos, diesel engine exhaust and crystalline silica had the largest estimated impact on cancer burden and also the highest number of exposed workers in Ontario, Canada’s most populous province.



One thought on “Ontario expands automatic firefighter cancer payouts”

  1. When do we do the same for welders as is being done for firefighters?
    IARC: Welding Fumes, UV Radiation from Welding Are Carcinogenic
    Published April 19, 2017
    In March 2017, seventeen scientists from ten countries met and classified welding fumes and UV radiation from welding as “carcinogenic to humans” (Group 1).
    The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified welding fumes and UV radiation from welding as Group 1 carcinogens, the agency’s designation for agents that carry sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in humans. According to the agency, its new classification for welding fumes is based on “substantial new evidence” from observational and experimental studies. UV radiation from welding was previously classified as a Group 1 carcinogen in an IARC monograph published in 2012.
    What does Group 1 carcinogenic classification mean: Substances, mixtures and exposure circumstances in this list have been classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as Group 1: The agent (mixture) is carcinogenic to humans. The exposure circumstance entails exposures that are carcinogenic to humans. This category is used when there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in humans.

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