Today’s post comes from guest author Rod Rehm, from Rehm, Bennett & Moore.
Workers’ compensation has provided benefits or coverage for occupational diseases for generations. Occupational disease is defined by Nebraska law as: “a disease which is due to causes and conditions which are characteristic of and peculiar to a particular trade, occupation, process, or employment and excludes all ordinary diseases of life to which the general public is exposed.” This is a typical definition of an occupational disease. Some examples of recognized occupational diseases are black lung disease for miners, mesothelioma for asbestos workers, lung disease for rubber workers, and leukemia for workers exposed to benzene.
More studies are done to determine the cause of diseases as medical science advances. A recent study concludes that smoke and chemical exposure by firefighters may cause higher rates of cancer among firefighters. Firefighters, while usually healthier than the general population, have a higher incidence of cancer. More studies need to be done to determine if the peculiar exposure to smoke causes or aggravates cancer.
As medicine and science evolve, there may be more recognized “occupational diseases” and more workers and their families compensated for harm caused by the workplace.
Today’s post comes from guest author Jon Gelman from Jon Gelman, LLC – Attorney at Law.
In a joint statement the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) again declared all forms of asbestos cause cancer.
Joint WHO/IARC Statement
19 February 2013
In response to allegations in the recent Lancet article, IARC in the dock over ties with asbestos industry (The Lancet, doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(13)60152-X), WHO and IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) state the following:
All forms of asbestos are carcinogenic to humans (IARC Monographs Volume 100C) and stopping the use of all forms of asbestos is the most efficient way to eliminate asbestos-related diseases (WHO Fact Sheet No 343).
The study on cancer in chrysotile workers in Asbest, Russian Federation, for which IARC is providing its epidemiological expertise, will supply important scientific information to better quantify the risk of cancers already known to be related to chrysotile as well as additional cancers suspected to be related to chrysotile, the asbestos fibre is the most commonly produced.
WHO and IARC take conflict of interest seriously and use a rigorous process to protect our research and development of norms, standards and guidelines from undue influence.
IARC confirms the completeness and accuracy of all data and statements of scientific results published in the British Journal of Cancer (Estimating the asbestos-related lung cancer burden from mesothelioma mortality, doi:10.1038/bjc.2011.563) and presented at a conference in Kiev.
IARC, as WHO’s cancer research agency, remains committed to providing the most reliable, independent scientific evidence on which public health decisions can be based.
Click here to read more about “asbestos” and workplace exposures
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Annette Cary of the Tri-City Herald reported on a change in the way that some claims will be handled for exposures at the Hanford Nuclear Site, including a review of more than 800 previously denied or pending claims for ill Hanford workers that are being reconsidered or put on a fast track for a decision after federal compensation rules were recently eased.
All those claims are for cancers covered by a newly designated special exposure cohort for workers at Hanford from July 1972 through 1983. Workers received that designation if inadequate information existed to estimate their radiation exposure.
The classification allows workers or their survivors to claim $150,000 in compensation plus medical coverage without an estimate showing they received enough radiation to likely cause the cancer. They also may be eligible for up to an additional $250,000 for impairment and wage loss.