Occupational exposures pose a significant risk to first responders as a result of the hazardous nature of the job. Exposure to communicable diseases, smoke, dust, debris, hazardous chemicals, noise and diesel exhaust fumes are just some of the risks.
To receive workers’ compensation benefits for an injury or condition caused by an exposure on the job, scientific evidence must demonstrate a connection between your injury and what you are exposed to.
The two main requirements for an occupational exposure claim are (1) proof that you were exposed to a harmful condition and (2) that the harmful condition can cause a specific type of disability.
Occupational exposure claims require proof that the work exposure probably contributed to a disabling injury. There must be sufficient scientific evidence to support a finding that the specific exposure at work is a material cause of an injury or condition. You don’t have to show that an exposure is the one and only cause of a disabling condition.
The exception to this standard involves cases of occupationally induced heart problems. The exposure at work must be greater than any personal risk factors.