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Incidents of occupational disease sparks BWC-firefighter deal

Occupational disease is a major issue that workers' compensation in Ohio is expected to provide for. Depending on the circumstances, this coverage can be the subject of dispute among the employer and the employees. In some cases, the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation will join with an employer to take preventative steps to try to keep the problematic diseases from manifesting. This will often come about after a number of workers have suffered illness, injury or a condition. As with any issue connected to workers' compensation, it is important to have legal advice for the entire process.

The fire marshal of Ohio and the BWC have decided that they will take steps to deal with the high rate of cancer in firefighters. The plan is to provide firefighters with equipment that provides protection against cancer-causing agents. Currently, a $500,000 fund has been created to train and prevent. Another $1 million will be added by the BWC.

This comes on the heels of a news report detailing the danger of cancer for firefighters and strategies to lower their risk. There was an absence of standards across the nation to protect firefighters from these issues. In the study, approximately half of 1,300 firefighters who were spoken to believe cancer is a major danger they face. Also, one in six firefighters received a cancer diagnosis during their time on the job.

The BWC and the fire marshal coming together to find ways to keep firefighters safer when they work is a positive step to preventing an occupational disease, such as cancer, from continuing to be an issue. However, not all situations go as smoothly as this one did, as an investigation hammered home the jeopardy firefighters face. Others who are working in jobs where they might face toxic exposure and other disease-causing factors should be aware of how to seek legal assistance in getting workers' compensation benefits and perhaps lead to similar changes as those that are taking place in the fire department.

Source:, "Ohio Workers' Comp, Fire Marshal Address Firefighter Cancer," Lucas Sullivan, Mike Wagner, Nov. 27, 2017

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