Tore Vassbotn has been a part-time firefighter in Stranda for over 20 years.
When he was diagnosed with metastatic bladder cancer five years ago, At the same time, he applied for work injury compensation from Nav.
He thought he lived a healthy life.
So he couldn’t see any other reason to receive the diagnosis than because he sniffed at work as a firefighter.
However, it was refused.
I had to collect the documents myself
For five years, he fought his battle for occupational injury compensation. He called professionals and collected the documents himself.
– I think it’s a complex system. He says they are asking you to prove the connection yourself.
He appealed the case to NAF twice. Finally, the case was referred to the Social Security Court.
This week he won in Social Security Court.
– I almost had tears in my eyes when I received that letter. He says it’s been a battle that’s been going on for several years.
– it would make sense
– This case is an important turning point, as the Social Security Court finally accepts that a form of cancer can occur in professions such as firefighters, says labor union attorney Ann Gray Running Abe.
The lawyer believes the outcome may be of interest to others.
In recent years, 76% of firefighters with cancer have had their claims for occupational injury compensation denied, according to figures. NRK collected by.
This is despite the fact that fire cops get cancer more often than the rest of the population.
The Norwegian Ergonomics Institute (STAMI) previously admitted That this is despite the strict sanitary requirements in the profession, which means that they must be healthier than the rest of the population.
– If you had bladder cancer and worked as a firefighter, this provision is meaningful. She is aware that bladder cancer can be caused by occupational exposure, she says.
Today, firefighters themselves have to prove that cancer is probably profession-related.
Fire cop Tore Vassbotn spent several hours on just this.
– It was a great job. He says that if you are sick and sick, you have no chance.
He will change the law
The union is now working to change legislation to make it easier to prove the link between the profession and cases of cancer.
Today, it must be firemen document What materials they are exposed to, which may be difficult.
In the countries of Canada, the USA and Australia, firefighters are believed until proven otherwise.
Such legislation that the union wants.
– It is very difficult for the injured person. This is especially true when working against an occupational system like the Nav and state occupational health workers, says Attorney Abe.
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