New Firefighter Bill Could Provide Workers’ Comp for Cancer
A new bill passed by the Georgia House of Representatives would make it possible for firefighters to receive workers’ compensation for certain cancer diagnoses. As WTOC.com reports, the new bill would make cancer a recognized occupational disease for firefighters across the state.
According to experts, advances in firefighter safety gear have not totally eliminated firefighters’ exposure to carcinogens. It’s not just what these workers breathe in while on the job but what they touch, as well.
“They have to wear their respiratory protection at every call that has a possible hazardous atmosphere, they wear their protective clothing,” Albany Fire Chief Ron Rowe said. “But, on the back end, we have to get the contamination off them.” The bill, which has not yet been scheduled for a Senate vote, is accompanied by research that shows that firefighters get cancer one and a half to two times more frequently than workers from other industries.
New Safety Measures
While smoke inhalation is a well-known cancer risk for firefighters, our understanding of cancer prevention has expanded to include other exposures firefighters face, as well. Namely, fire byproducts that remain on their gear during the course of their duties.
While this protective gear is effective in shielding firefighters from heat and smoke, it also allows the byproduct contaminants to find their way to the firefighter. “That is the thing [protective gear] that is touching their body also,” Rowe added. “So we are absorbing those contaminants still through our skin.”
If you have been hurt on the job and would like to receive workers’ comp benefits, then we invite you to contact Cummings & Middlebrooks, LLP today. Our dedicated Atlanta workers’ compensation attorneys have more than three decades of combined legal experience. They know what it takes to file a successful claim and can ensure that their clients take every necessary step to best promote their eligibility to receive benefits.
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