Forest firefighters secure presumptive Workplace Safety and Insurance Board coverage for high cancer risk

By Ontario Public Service Employees Union
Cision Newswire
April 29, 2024
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada East

TORONTO – Ontario’s forest firefighters will soon have the same presumptive Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) coverage that urban firefighters do. Like urban firefighters, forest firefighters are at a higher risk of cancer, heart disease and heart injuries, and post-traumatic stress disorder. While certain diagnoses for urban firefighters are presumed to be work related, forest firefighters didn’t have automatic recognition for WSIB. …”The fight is not over and there is still work to do to. But for all those who have sacrificed their health and their lives, and those who continue to, we can at least celebrate the promise of change. Now it’s up to this government to implement this change immediately,” said OPSEU/SEFPO Local 703 Vice-President, Noah Freedman. Experienced forest firefighters are leaving Ontario’s wildland firefighting program for higher paying jobs elsewhere. The insultingly low wage the Ontario government offers doesn’t reflect the high-risk nature of this job. 

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