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In under two weeks, current and retired firefighters in Ohio who are suffering from various cancers will be able to collect workers compensation benefits under presumption.
Senate Bill 27, passed in 2016 and signed into law earlier this year, amended workers compensation code in Ohio to state: “Cancer contracted by a firefighter who has been assigned to at least six years of hazardous duty as a firefighter constitutes a presumption that the cancer was contracted in the course of and arising out of the firefighter's employment if the firefighter was exposed to an agent classified by the international agency for research on cancer or its successor organization as a group 1 or 2A carcinogen.”
The law states the presumption is rebuttable if there is evidence that: the firefighter has been exposed to cigarettes, tobacco products, or other conditions presenting an extremely high risk for the development of the cancer alleged or was probably a significant factor in the cause or progression of the cancer; that the firefighter was not exposed to an agent classified by the international agency for research on cancer as a group 1 or 2A carcinogen; that the firefighter incurred the type of cancer alleged before becoming a member of the fire department; or that the firefighter is 70 years of age or older.
Also, the presumption will not apply if it has been more than 20 years since the firefighter was last assigned to hazardous duty as a firefighter.
The new law takes effect on April 6, according to the state’s legislative calendar.
A firefighter can’t receive workers compensation benefits for prostate cancer because he failed to show that his cancer was work-related, despite a Pennsylvania cancer presumption for firefighters, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court ruled.