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Utah bill proposes firefighter comp cancer presumption


A legislative proposal in Utah would amend the existing workers compensation law to create a rebuttable presumption for cancer diagnoses in firefighters and would require the state Division of Industrial Accidents to conduct a study regarding cancers typically associated with firefighting.

The measure, Senate Bill 159, which was introduced Monday, modifies the circumstances under which firefighters are presumed to have contracted certain types of cancer during the course of their employment.

The presumptive cancers outlined in the bill are cancers of the pharynx, esophagus and lung, and includes mesothelioma.

Under the bill, both volunteer and career firefighters diagnosed with one of these types of cancer are presumed to have contracted the disease in connection with their employment.

The study in the bill requires the Division of Industrial Accidents to look into whether other cancers not mentioned in the legislation could also be contracted by firefighters in the course of their job.

The division would have to provide a report to the Senate Business and Labor Interim Committee summarizing the results and offering legislation recommendations before Nov. 30.

The bill would also modify requirements for calculating add-on fees in workers compensation claims.