The men and women who work as firefighters often encounter various risks and safety threats when they are on duty. This type of service is inherently dangerous work, and in addition to the risk of burns and smoke inhalation, they could also face exposure to toxic materials and harmful substances. Thankfully, there could be safety improvements coming for Ohio firefighters.
The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation has recently decided to grant $1.1 million to over 100 departments across the state. The intent of this grant is to improve safety through the provision of important equipment. This money could ultimately reduce the chances of accidents, injuries and work-related illnesses among firefighters.
Putting safety first
The money from these safety grants will go to improve safety in several ways, particularly in keeping firefighters safe from exposure that can lead to sickness and disease. The money comes from the BWC’s Firefighter Exposure to Environmental Elements Grant Program. The money will increase safety by allowing departments to purchase and fund the following:
- Safety gear
- Exhaust systems
- Special washing machines for contaminated clothing
The washing machines can help keep firefighters safe, even when they are not battling a blaze. There are special machines created to wash off contaminants and hazardous materials that can cause cancer and other serious diseases. Firefighters often pick up these dangerous substances while fighting fires.
Firefighters have a risky job, but they are still entitled to a reasonable expectation of safety. It is critical to have the gear necessary to avoid contamination as much as possible, as well as proper training on how to use the equipment the right way. When firefighters do experience on-the-job injuries or become ill because of their work, they have the right to seek appropriate benefits through a workers’ compensation claim.
What do you need to get better?
If you are a firefighter, you have the right to seek support after an injury at work or diagnosis of an occupational illness. You do not have to suffer alone, but you can take steps to secure what you need to get better by filing a claim and fighting for the full amount of benefits you deserve.
You can start your claim by seeking a complete evaluation of your case. Injured workers often are unsure of where to begin or how to move forward with the appropriate course of action, but you do not have to walk through the claims process alone.