Starting Nov. 15, professional and volunteer firefighters will be able to access Workers’ Compensation coverage for six additional cancers.
In addition, an amendment will come into force to enable Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) claimants to access their entire claim file.
The amendments, which were announced last December, adds prostate, skin, breast, cervical and ovarian cancer as well as multiple myeloma to the list of occupational diseases with presumptive coverage for firefighters.
“It’s good,” offered Yorkton Fire Chief Trevor Morrissey. “As far as I’m concerned they’re taking the right steps.”
Morrissey said in recognizing the risk firefighters face in their jobs he hopes it will follow that the risks of other job sectors are more recognized as well moving forward.
“Firefights lead the way on this type of legislation,” he told Yorkton This Week, adding the International Association of Fire Fighters have “done a really good job working in it.”
Now that the WCB has recognized the specific situation of firefighters to provide “more security for individuals ... peace of mind for their families,” the same should be accorded other sectors, said Morrissey.
Labour Relations and Workplace Safety Minister Don Morgan said the updates are a positive thing.
“We value the work that our firefighters do and continue to do every day to keep the province safe,” he said in a government release. “We know the risks that they face and want to continue to provide the supports they need by updating and expanding their WCB coverage.”
“We would like to thank the Government of Saskatchewan for providing some of the highest numbers of presumptive coverage for firefighters in the country,” Saskatchewan Professional Firefighters and Paramedics Association President Lloyd Zwack said in the release.
‘Presumptive coverage’ means that if a firefighter is diagnosed with a disease, it is presumed the disease is related to their work. With this amendment, Saskatchewan now has presumptive coverage for 15 forms of cancer for firefighters as well as heart injury, making the province a leader in Canada.
To apply for workers’ compensation, applicants need to provide a diagnosis and other required information from a medical professional to support their claim.
To learn more about filing a claim, visit www.wcbsask.com.