WCB coverage expanded to cover six cancers for Sask. firefighters
Workers’ Compensation coverage for firefighters in the province has been expanded to cover six new cancers, the government announced on Tuesday.
Firefighters will now be able to file a Workers’ Compensation Board claim for prostate, skin, breast, cervical and ovarian cancer, along with multiple myeloma under occupational disease presumption.
“Firefighters are running toward danger as others run away, and face great risks when performing their duties in often challenging situations,” Labour Relations and Workplace Safety Minister Don Morgan said in a written statement. “They also face the potential of dealing with occupational diseases related to their chosen profession.”
The additional coverage is also meant to acknowledge changing demographics in firefighters, with half of the new coverage for cancers primarily or exclusively affecting women.
“This is an important day for firefighters across Saskatchewan,” Saskatchewan Professional Firefighters Association President Lloyd Zwack said in a news release. “We appreciate the government continuing to recognize the hazards we face every day and to know that they are just as committed to our long-term health as we are to keeping the province safe.”
A bill introduced in the Saskatchewan legislature on Tuesday will also increase the number of members on the WCB to one full-time chairperson, two full-time members and four part-time members.
The changes stem from recommendations made in a review of the Workers’ Compensation Act in 2016.