Firefighter Safety Stand Down Week
June 16, 2019
Each year, the National Volunteer Fire Council and the International Association of Fire Chiefs host Firefighter Safety Stand Down week. For 2019, the event will take place June 16 to 22 and concentrate on reducing carcinogen exposure for those who provide emergency services throughout the nation. Departments, companies, and advocates are gearing up to present webinars, host special events, and distribute posters to remind emergency workers that they deserve to work in a healthier environment with smarter procedures and reliable equipment.
Increased Cancer Link
Firefighters and other first responders face many unique risks, including being around cancer-causing materials more often than members of the general public. In fact, studies have shown that firefighters receive oral, urinary, and respiratory cancer diagnoses more often than people in other professions. They also are at twice the risk of developing mesothelioma, a specific type of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Any cancer can take a toll on an individual personally, professionally, and financially.
Legislators have taken note of the link between cancer and firefighting and are using their power to help reverse the trend of higher-than-average diagnoses. In 2018, the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act came into effect after President Trump signed it into law. The Act established the maintenance of a registry where firefighters could document their cancer diagnosis and related experiences. The goal of the Act is to improve cancer research as it pertains to the firefighting community. One million dollars has been set aside by Congress to keep the registry fully funded.
Ways to Reduce Cancer Risk
Firefighter Safety Stand Down week offers an opportunity for industry workers to discuss ways to remain safe while still performing their jobs at the highest ability. Suggestions to stop unnecessary exposure to known carcinogens include:
- Wearing all protective gear and equipment as recommended.
- Checking and repairing or replacing all protective gear and equipment at regular intervals.
- Changing clothes and taking a shower after contact with any known or suspected carcinogens.
- Going to the doctor for routine check-ups.
- Documenting all possible exposure incidents with mandatory reports.
- Decontaminating apparatuses appropriately after use.
- Eliminating personal use of tobacco and reducing second-hand exposure to tobacco product output.
By being diligent, firefighters and emergency first responders can avoid health problems that could cost them their lives. At the same time, leaders in the firefighting community owe it to their workers to establish protocols to keep everyone safe.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Seek Fair Settlements for Firefighters and First Responders Diagnosed with Cancer
Firefighters and first responders in Pennsylvania who have been diagnosed with cancer have the right to file for workers’ compensation through their employers’ insurance carriers. If you suffered a work-related injury or illness, a Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyer at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. can help. Call us today at 888-PITT-LAW or complete an online form for a free consultation.
Conveniently located in Philadelphia, Bensalem, Lansdowne, and Reading, we represent injured workers in Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County, and throughout Pennsylvania, including those in the communities of Abington, Ambler, Ardmore, Bala Cynwyd, Bensalem, Clifton Heights, Crum Lynne, Darby, Downingtown, Doylestown, Drexel Hill, Essington, Folcroft, Glenolden, Haverford, Havertown, Holmes, Kutztown, Lansdowne, Media, Merion Station, Morton, Narberth, Norristown, Norwood, Philadelphia, Prospect Park, Quakertown, Reading, Roxborough, Sharon Hill, Upper Darby, West Chester, and Wynnewood.