04:35 pm, Friday 10 May, 2013
Photo: SafetyCulture Library
Tasmanian firefighters will now be given better access to medical support and compensation as the Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Amendment (Fire-fighters) Bill 2013 has been introduced in the Tasmanian Parliament last week by Minister for Workplace Relations, David James O’Byrne.
Firies in Tasmania need not prove a significant connection betweek their work and certain cancers under these proposed changes to compensation laws.
According to a report from The Mercury, the new law will apply to volunteer and career firefighters. Even those who have retired will be covered for 10 years after the last fire incident they attended.
Firefighters diagnosed with cancer will only have to meet the legislated qualifying employment periods and incident exposures to qualify for compensation.
The cancers include primary site brain, bladder, kidney, non-Hodgkins lymphoma, leukemia, breast, testicular, myeloma, prostate, ureter, colorectal, and oesophageal.
United Firefighters Union national secretaty Peter Marshall said similar legislations have helped sick firefighters in other countries like Canada and the United States.
“In Australia, the federal legislation was passed after a thorough Senate inquiry examined the links between firefighters and cancer and was unanimously supported by all political parties,” said Mr Marshall.
“Today is a breakthrough and firefighters sincerely appreciate this initiative by the Tasmanian Government.”
“They head into danger as others flee – but the effect of prolonged exposure to carcinogens, toxins and other chemicals can cost their health,” he said.