Pennsylvania firefighters who risk their lives to protect their communities now have another reason to be commended: their persistence has helped to expand the Workers’ Compensation Act to include coverage to fellow firefighters who suffer from a cancer caused by exposure to certain known carcinogens
Gov. Tom Corbitt signed House Bill No. 797 into law, designating cancer caused by Group 1 carcinogens as an occupational disease for firefighters. In order to receive compensation, firefighters must: 1) have served four or more years in continuous firefighting duties, 2) establish direct exposure to a Group 1 carcinogen, and 3) have passed a physical exam prior to asserting a claim, or prior to engaging in firefighting, and the exam failed to reveal any evidence of cancer.
The legislation also allows a claim to be made within 600 weeks after the last date of employment to which a claimant was exposed to the hazards of the disease.
On Firehouse.com, Republican Representative Frank Farry of Bucks County, who introduced the bill, is quoted as saying, “There is no greater tragedy that we could have than a firefighter that develops cancer post retirement.”
Farry believes it is important to give firefighters proper insurance coverage so health care and wages are covered.
If you work in Pennsylvania and you are injured on the job, you are entitled to compensation. So why would that not apply to Pennsylvania firefighters? We no longer need to worry about the answer to that question, now that House Bill 797 has been signed into law. If you are a Pennsylvania firefighter who may have developed cancer as a result to exposure from a Group 1 carcinogen, you may now be eligible for benefits. Contact the workers’ comp attorneys at Michael J. O’Connor & Associates for a free review of your case.