A Utah legislative proposal would amend existing workers’ compensation law to create a rebuttable presumption for cancer diagnoses in firefighters and would require the state Division of Industrial Accidents to conduct a study on cancers commonly associated with firefighting.
The measure, Senate Bill 159, introduced Monday, changes the circumstances under which firefighters are presumed to have contracted certain types of cancer during their employment.
The presumptive cancers described in the bill are cancers of the pharynx, esophagus and lungs, and include mesothelioma.
Under the bill, both volunteer and career firefighters diagnosed with one of these types of cancer are presumed to have contracted the disease in connection with their employment.
The study in the bill requires the Department of Industrial Accidents to investigate whether other forms of cancer not mentioned in the legislation can also be contracted by firefighters during their work.
The department would be required to submit a report to the Senate Business and Labor Interim Committee summarizing the findings and making legislative recommendations by Nov. 30.
The bill would also change the requirements for calculating surcharges in workers̵7; compensation claims.