New legislation geared to give first responders peace of mind

Emergency workers will be able to access information about potential disease exposure with legislation introduced April 30

Emergency workers will be able to access information about  potential disease exposure with legislation introduced April 30 by the  Honourable Margaret MacDiarmid, Minister of Labour, Citizens’ Services  and Open Government.

The nature of the work done by emergency personnel means they are at a higher risk of coming into contact with other peoples’ bodily substances.

This puts them in a situation where they can be exposed to serious  communicable diseases like HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C.

The Emergency Intervention Disclosure Act will:

– Enable emergency workers and Good Samaritans to get a court order to  require individuals to give a bodily fluid sample, if one is not given  voluntarily.

– Protect privacy by assuring information is shared in confidence only.

– Set penalties for non-compliance of testing orders and privacy  provisions.

 

– Establish a presumption of disease exposure for first responders seeking workers’ compensation benefits.