Presumptive Disability Law in British Columbia

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CODE PART:
Workers Compensation Act
[RSBC 1996] CHAPTER 492
British Columbia Legislative Website
DESCRIPTION:

Workers Compensation Act
[RSBC 1996] CHAPTER 492

Division 2 - Compensation

6.1 Firefighters' occupational disease presumption
6.2 Emergency Intervention Disclosure Act
Firefighters Occupational Disease Regulation

Firefighters' occupational disease presumption

6.1
  1. In this section, "firefighter" means a member of a fire brigade who is
    1. described by paragraph (c) of the definition of "worker", and
    2. assigned primarily to fire suppression duties, whether or not those duties include the performance of ambulance or rescue services.
  2. (1.1) If a worker who is or has been a firefighter contracts primary site lung cancer, the disease must be presumed to be due to the nature of the worker's employment as a firefighter, unless the contrary is proved.

  3. If a worker who is or has been a firefighter contracts a prescribed disease, the disease must be presumed to be due to the nature of the worker’s employment as a firefighter, unless the contrary is proved.
  4. The presumptions in subsections (1.1) and (2) apply only to a worker who
    1. has worked as a firefighter for the minimum cumulative period prescribed for the disease, which minimum cumulative period may be defined differently, and be different, for different categories of firefighters,
    2. throughout that period, has been regularly exposed to the hazards of a fire scene, other than a forest fire scene, and
    3. is first disabled from the disease on or after the following date, as applicable:
      1. in the case of a disease that, on or before the date this subparagraph comes into force, was prescribed by regulation for the purposes of subsection (2), April 11, 2005;
      2. in the case of primary site lung cancer, May 27, 2008;
      3. in the case of a disease that, after the date this subparagraph comes into force, is prescribed by regulation for the purposes of subsection (2), the date on which that regulation takes effect.
  5. (3.1) In addition to the requirements of subsection (3), the presumption for a primary site lung cancer applies only if

    1. the worker has, in his or her lifetime, smoked a combined total of fewer than 365 cigarettes, cigars and pipes, or
    2. the worker has been a non-smoker of tobacco products immediately before the date on which the worker is first disabled from that disease for the minimum period that may be prescribed, which minimum period may be different for different types or amounts of previous tobacco product usage.
  6. The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations for the purposes of subsections (2), (3) (a) and (3.1) (b).
  7. [Repealed 2009-7-2.]
  8. In subsections (7) to (9) of this section:
    • "firefighter" means a worker who is a member of a fire brigade and is assigned primarily to fire suppression duties, whether or not those duties include the performance of ambulance or rescue services;
    • "heart disease" includes disease of the pericardium or coronary arteries;
    • "heart injury" includes heart attack, cardiac arrest or arrhythmia.
  9. If a worker is disabled as a result of a heart disease and was employed as a firefighter at or immediately before the date of disablement from the heart disease, the heart disease must be presumed to be due to the nature of the worker's employment as a firefighter, unless the contrary is proved.
  10. If a worker is disabled as a result of a heart injury and was employed as a firefighter at or immediately before the date of disablement from the heart injury, the heart injury must be presumed to have arisen out of and in the course of the worker's employment as a firefighter, unless the contrary is proved.
  11. The presumptions in subsections (7) and (8) apply only to a worker who
    1. has been regularly exposed, throughout the worker's employment as a firefighter, to the hazards of a fire scene, and
    2. is first disabled as a result of the heart disease or heart injury, as the case may be, on or after the date this subsection comes into force.


Emergency Intervention Disclosure Act

6.2

  1. In this section:
    • "applicant" means an applicant, as defined in the Emergency Intervention Disclosure Act, who has obtained a testing order under that Act respecting a source individual;
    • "communicable disease" means a communicable disease prescribed for the purposes of the Emergency Intervention Disclosure Act;
    • "source individual" has the same meaning as in the Emergency Intervention Disclosure Act.
  2. If a worker who is an applicant has contracted a comrmunicable disease, it must be presumed, unless there is evidence to the contrary, that the communicable disease is due to the nature of the worker's employment, if
    1. the worker came into contact with the bodily substance of the source individual in the course of the worker's employment, and
    2. test results obtained under a testing order made under the Emergency Intervention Disclosure Act indicate that the source individual is infected with a pathogen that causes the communicable disease contracted by the applicant.

Workers Compensation Act
Firefighters' Occupational Disease Regulation

Definitions
1 In this regulation, Act means the Workers Compensation Act.

Prescribed occupational diseases
2 Each of primary leukemia, primary non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, primary site bladder cancer, primary site brain cancer, primary site colorectal cancer, primary site kidney cancer, primary site testicular cancer and primary site ureter cancer is prescribed as an occupational disease for the purposes of section 6.1 (2) of the Act.

Minimum cumulative periods of employment prescribed
3 The minimum cumulative period set out in Column 2 of the Table is prescribed for the purposes of section 6.1 (3) (a) of the Act in respect of the occupational disease set out opposite it in Column 1.

ItemOccupational DiseaseMinimum Cumulative Period
1primary leukemia5 years
2primary non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma20 years
3primary site bladder cancer15 years
4primary site brain cancer10 years
5primary site colorectal cancer20 years
6primary site kidney cancer20 years
7primary site lung cancer15 years
8primary site testicular cancer20 years
9primary site ureter cancer15 years
10primary site esophageal cancer25 years

Minimum non-smoking periods prescribed for previous smokers

4 In the case of a worker who does not meet the requirement of 6.1 (3.1) (a) of the Act, the minimum period for the purposes of section 6.1 (3.1) (b) of the Act is prescribed as follows:

  1. if the worker smoked cigarettes,
    1. 6 consecutive years, if the worker smoked, on average, fewer than 7 cigarettes per week,
    2. 6 consecutive years, if the worker smoked, on average, 1 to 9 cigarettes per day,
    3. 13 consecutive years, if the worker smoked, on average, 10 to 19 cigarettes per day,
    4. 18 consecutive years, if the worker smoked, on average, 20 cigarettes per day,
    5. 23 consecutive years, if the worker smoked, on average, 21 to 39 cigarettes per day, and
    6. 28 consecutive years, if the worker smoked, on average, 40 or more cigarettes per day;
  2. 8 consecutive years, if the worker smoked, on average, one or more cigars or pipes per day but did not smoke cigarettes;
  3. if the worker smoked cigarettes in combination with cigars or pipes, the periods prescribed in paragraph (a) apply with a cigar or pipe counting as a cigarette.