Utah bill proposes firefighter comp cancer presumption

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A legislative proposal in Utah would modify existing workers’ compensation law to create a rebuttable presumption for cancer diagnoses in firefighters and require the state Division of Industrial Accidents to investigate firefighting-related cancers in general.

Senate Bill 159, introduced Monday, changes the circumstances under which firefighters are deemed to have contracted certain types of cancer during the course of their work.

Presumptive cancers outlined in the bill include cancers of the larynx, esophagus and lung, as well as mesothelioma.

Under the bill, volunteer and professional firefighters diagnosed with this type of cancer are considered to have contracted the disease in connection with their employment.

The Division of Industrial Accidents should investigate whether other cancers not mentioned in the Act may also be contracted by firefighters in the course of their work.

The division must submit a report summarizing the findings and making legislative recommendations to the Senate Commerce and Labor Interim Committee by November 30.

The bill would also change the requirements for calculating surcharges on workers’ compensation claims.


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