The State Government says SA will be the first state the amend its laws to cover firefighters diagnosed with such cancers as primary brain,bladder, kidney, breast and prostate cancers.
Workers’ Rehabilitation Minister Jack Snelling indicated that the new measures will implemented by July 1,2013.
“The onus of proof should no longer be on those who risk their lives for our safety every day,” he said.
United Firefighters industrial officer Joe Szakacs reported that dozens of firefighters are currently suffering or recovering from job-related cancers.
He cited research that showed a professional firefighter with five years’ experience has five times the risk of contracting 12 different types of cancer than others throughout the community.
Premier Jay Weatherill said attributed firefighters exposure to toxic chemicals and fumes in the line of duty, puts them at a higher risk of the disease.
He believes the amendments would make it “easier for those firefighters to get the compensation they deserve for putting themselves in harm’s way”.
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