Document name
Injuries - Firefighters
Document number
PRO 03/2020

Effective date: November 15, 2019

Approved date: September 30, 2020

Application: Applies to all firefighter cancer and cardiac claims on or after the effective date.

Policy subject: Decision making - Injuries

Purpose:

To provide guidelines for the adjudication of cancer and cardiac claims for firefighters.

BACKGROUND

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POL 03/2020, Injuries – Firefighters, outlines the firefighter injury presumptions under The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013 and The Workers’ Compensation General Regulations, 1985.

PROCEDURE

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  1. As with all reported injuries and diseases, staff will obtain all relevant information to determine if the injury or disease arose out of and in the course of employment. Staff will determine entitlement based on the weight of that information.

Period of Service or Employment

  1. The list of occupational diseases presumed to be compensable and the required minimum periods of service for volunteer or employment for full-time and part-time firefighters are outlined in POL 03/2020, Injuries – Firefighters.
  2. The WCB will consider the firefighter’s cumulative period of service or employment to take into account all of the individual’s history as a firefighter, whether their period of service or employment is consecutive or not.
  3. For cardiac injury that manifests within 24 hours after attendance at an emergency response, no minimum period of service or employment will be required.

Exposure

  1. If a firefighter is or has been regularly exposed to the risks and hazards associated with a fire scene and meets the minimum period of service or employment, the WCB will presume the cancer is an occupational disease.
  2. Risks and hazards associated with a fire scene could include, but is not limited to:
    1. Wearing contaminated fire gear.
    2. Attending a fire scene.
    3. Attending the scene after the fire has been extinguished.
  3. The firefighter presumptions will also apply to positions that need to attend the fire scene after the fire has been put out (e.g., to determine cause of fire, to clean-up, etc.), who are also exposed to fire risks and hazards.

Claim Management

  1. The claim will be managed as any other injury claim in determining extent of disability, monitoring of medical treatment, determining fitness for employment (pre-injury or suitable) and determining post-injury earning capacity.
  2. In the case of a terminal illness, the claim will be referred to Extended Services to provide support services to the worker.

Appeals

  1. If a listed occupational disease for a firefighter was previously denied under former legislation, the firefighter (or dependants) can request WCB to reconsider the original decision.
  2. The WCB team responsible for the most recent decision (e.g., Claims Entitlement staff, Case Manager, Appeals Officer, Board Appeal Tribunal) will review the claim for reconsideration before progressing to the next level of appeal (e.g., the Appeals Department, Board Appeal Tribunal).

Policy references

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Legislative Authority

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The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013 Sections 2(1)(ii), 2(1)(r)(iii), 2(1)(aa), 20(5), 23, 27, 28, 187
The Workers’ Compensation General Regulations, 1985 Sections 22.3 and 22.4
The Fire Safety Act Section 2
 

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Document History

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(1)    This procedure was created in light of Bill 165, an amendment to The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013 (effective November 15, 2019). Please refer to POL 03/2020, Injuries – Firefighters for the complete document history.

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Complements

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