According to a study released by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, firefighters may be at increased risk of certain types of cancer. The study, which followed thousands of firefighters from California, found that the firefighter population had a 30% – 100% greater chance of developing certain cancers, including melanoma and cancers of the esophagus, lungs, prostate, brain and kidneys.
Illnesses caused by exposure to environmental hazards found in the workplace are covered under Connecticut Workers’ Compensation law. This would include any instances of cancer in firefighters as a result of years of exposure to hazardous smoke and chemicals. Connecticut law refers to these types of injuries as “occupational disease.” Benefits available to a worker suffering from an occupational disease include payment of medical benefits and money benefits for time missed from work. In those tragic cases where an occupational disease is fatal, some surviving family members may be eligible for survivor’s benefits.
In Connecticut, Workers’ Compensation benefits for an occupational disease are available to any worker suffering from exposure to harmful materials including asbestos, toxic chemicals, and gases.
A worker suffering from an occupational disease must bring a claim for Workers’ Compensation benefits within three (3) years of the first manifestation of symptoms related to the disease.
If you or a family member is suffering from an illness or disease which may have been caused by exposure to harmful substances at the workplace, please do not hesitate to contact an experienced Workers’ Compensation attorney to determine whether you or your loved one may have a claim.