All occupations pose some level of danger, and in most workplace environments, compliance with federal safety regulations can prevent injuries and death. However, some jobs expose Ohio workers to risks that are not easy to eliminate. One such occupation is firefighting, which exposes firefighters to various carcinogens. Obtaining workers' compensation benefits for occupational injuries is typically incredibly challenging.
The Centers for Disease Control report that one study indicated that, while cancer develops in 22 percent of members of the general population, an estimated 68 percent of firefighters are diagnosed with cancer. One of those is a 49-year-old Ohio firefighter who was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2015. He is currently receiving hospice care after protecting others from fires over decades without considering the dangers he faced in doing so.
With this firefighter on the forefront, a bill was recently passed to benefit firefighters. He fought to get the law passed under which cancer in Ohio firefighters will be recognized as an occupational illness. Under this new law, workers affected by dangerous cancer-causing carcinogens will be allowed to seek workers' compensation.
Showing that an occupational illness is work-related could be challenging. However, with the new law in place, the assistance of an experienced workers' compensation attorney could provide the necessary support and guidance to ease the process. A skilled lawyer can handle the administrative and legal aspects of the claim on behalf of the sick worker while working to obtain the maximum compensation. Benefits will cover all medical expenses and may even allow some financial assistance to replace lost income.
Source: cleveland19.com, "Law helps firefighters get cancer benefits", April 6, 2017