The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation is setting aside $2 million dollars per year to help reduce firefighting injuries resulting from exposure to harmful chemicals. The Firefighter Exposure to Environmental Elements Grant (FEEEG) Program will provide qualifying fire departments with the funds needed to purchase safety gear and other equipment to protect firefighters from carcinogens before, during, and after a firefight.
If you or a loved one are looking to learn more about workers’ comp for firefighters, call the workers’ compensation lawyers of Kademenos, Wisehart, Hines, Dolyk & Wright Co. LPA at (419) 625-7770 to schedule a free, initial case consultation.
Grant for Ohio Firefighters Will Reduce Injuries Caused by Exposure to Chemicals
The grant is not a direct payment toward workers’ comp for firefighters, but an investment that will likely result in a reduction of firefighting injuries across the state. According to the National Fire Protection Association, 62,085 firefighter injuries occurred in the United States in 2016 alone. That same year, firefighters reported 36,475 separate exposures to hazardous conditions such as fumes, asbestos, chemicals, and radioactive materials.
To avoid injuries resulting from harmful exposure, Ohio fire departments will be purchasing a wide range of safety equipment, including:
- Diesel exhaust systems such as tailpipe capture
- Extractors and washing machines for turn-out gear
- Hoods with barrier protection
- Washable gloves meeting the requirements of NFPA 1971
As of the end of February 2018, the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation allotted two million dollars in grant money to give away, but it received 444 applications requesting over $4.5 million in funding. Unfortunately, the bureau has not increased the amount of funding available this year.
This relatively small investment is set to make a big impact on Ohio firefighters. Genoa Township Fire Chief Gary Honeycutt stated that he and his department “are grateful for the BWC grant that has allowed us to remove carcinogens from turnout gear, minimizing health impacts to our firefighters.”
Helping Firefighters Receive Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation is there for you when you get injured on the job. For firefighters, who face the risk of severe injury every day, the ability to rely on workers’ compensation is essential. Last year, the Ohio legislature passed a law that now enables firefighters to receive workers’ compensation for cancer. This law was necessary in light of evidence showing that firefighters face a much higher risk of developing cancer due to their exposure to harmful chemicals.
To obtain compensation for cancer, firefighters must prove the following:
- They worked as a firefighter
- They have a cancer diagnosis
- They have performed a minimum of six years of hazardous duty within the past 20 years
- They have been exposed to Group 1 or Group 2A carcinogens while on the job
- They are less than 71 years of age
Let Our Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Help You
If you are an injured firefighter, you deserve compensation for your sacrifice. At Kademenos, Wisehart, Hines, Dolyk & Wright Co. LPA, we will help pursue your workers’ compensation claim, ensuring that you and your family’s financial future is secure. To talk with an Ohio workers’ comp lawyer, call us today at (419) 625-7770 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.