October 7-8 was the National Firefighters Memorial Weekend, and many spent the day honoring and remembering their fallen co-workers and brethren who died protecting the lives of so many. According to NBC DFW, lost of them did not succumb to flames, but rather to cancer. This danger is an unseen one in the firefighting profession as firefighters are exposed to smoke, soot, and all manner of burning chemicals. Sadly, the fight against cancer isn’t the only one that they are fighting. They are having to prove that their disease they are fighting is caused by their job. Now one Texas fireman is speaking about his condition.
Patrick Lindsey is a captain with the Grapevine Fire Department and spent 28 years fighting fires, but now he is fighting a personal battle against cancer. It started when he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma.
“I started getting short of breath, it started making it more difficult,” Captain Lindsey said. “It’s a very rare cancer,” Captain Lindsey said. “There’s no genetic form. My type of cancer only comes from being exposed to something.”
New research that has just come to light shows that firefighters’ risk of developing cancer rises with how much they breathe in and absorb while on the job. Also, the Internation Association of Firefighters now says that 60% of the line-of-duty deaths are from cancer and not from any flames or accidents.
Captain Lindsey was denied when he filed a worker’s comp claim and said that he feels like they are calling him a liar when they denied his claim. He is now fighting the denial along with the help of Fort Worth Captain Robert Webb, a three-year survivor of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. Webb has dedicated himself to helping other afflicted firefighters with their claims processes.
When people think about work injuries, they often think about bodily injuries and not life-changing illnesses. This story goes to show that it may be possible to do your job safely and still receive an injury. Employers are supposed to keep a safe work environment for their workers and a lot of places try their best. Sadly, this still doesn’t eliminate the fact that people are human and make mistakes. One careless mistake can be made by someone who simply hasn’t been sleeping well and is exhausted at work. In the end, no matter how safely you try to work, this doesn’t guarantee that you will not be harmed while you try to do your job.
2015 Work Injury Statistics
According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports:
- The annual total of 4,836 fatal workplace injuries in 2015, was the highest number since the 5,214 fatal injuries that happened in 2008.
- A total of 4,836 fatal work injuries were recorded in the United States in 2015, a slight increase from the 4,821 fatal injuries reported in 2014.
- Workers age 65 years and older incurred 650 fatal injuries, the second-largest number for the group since the national census began in 1992 but decreased from the 2014 figure of 684.
- Fatal injuries in the private oil and gas extraction industries were 38 percent lower in 2015 than 2014.
- Seventeen percent of decedents were contracted by and performing work for another business or government entity in 2015 rather than for their direct employer at the time of the incident.
- Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers recorded 745 fatal injuries, the most of any occupation.
- The 937 fatal work injuries in the private construction industry in 2015 represented the highest total since 975 cases in 2008.
San Antonio Work Injury Lawyers
If you have been injured while working, you may have a long road to recovery ahead of you. As such, it may be important to focus on healing up so you can get back to work. We can do our best to focus on taking care of the legal aspects of your case. Contact us for a free case evaluation and we can discuss what happened at work that led to your injury. Let us see how what we may be able to do to help.