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DEEOIC Accepts Recommendations from the Advisory Board to Improve the Compensation Program

July 27, 2021

July 27, 2021

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Industry News

The Advisory Board on Toxic Substances and Worker Health submitted recommendations to the Department of Labor’s Division of Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation (DEEOIC). DEEOIC accepted five recommendations as submitted and three that will require further review.

Department agrees to:

• Add a presumptive standard that Claims Examiners will apply CDC guidance in establishing that diagnosed COVID-19 is consequential to an accepted work-related illness.
• Accept that a Six Minute Walk Test is a viable method for calculating VO2max when rating impairment, and it will provide staff guidance on the use of the calculation recommended by the Board.
• Add health effect data from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) to the Site Exposure Matrix (SEM0 that links the identified cancers to the noted toxic substances that are found to be probable human carcinogens.
• The SEM should specify that IARC and National Toxicology Program (NTP) evaluations have been used in addition to HAZ MAP for the purpose of asserting linkages between toxic substances and human cancer sites.
• Update program information available to the public that health effect information listed in SEM originates from different sources including IARC and National Toxicology Program (NTP) evaluations.

The Board adopted the following recommendations pertaining to asbestos presumptions.

1.  The Department of Labor and contractor Paragon Technical Services (PTS) should reevaluate the job titles of Chemical Engineers, Industrial, Health, & Safety Engineers, and Mechanical Engineers and add these titles to the list of occupations presumptively exposed to the asbestos under EEOICP.

DEEOIC agreed to coordinate a re-evaluation of the noted job titles with Paragon Technical Services and make agreed to alterations to the list of labor categories with a presumption of significant exposure to asbestos. In the event that changes are determined to be unwarranted, the Department will provide its analysis to the Board for review.

2.  The Board also requested access to the Generic Profiles, including the Asbestos Generic profile. DEEOIC agreed to provide the Board with all Generic Profile data.

3.  The Board recommended that DEEOIC clarify how Department of Energy jobs that correspond to the job title “Maintenance and Repair, General Helper” are classified within the SEM and whether they are linked to asbestos exposure.

DEEOIC will collaborate with Paragon Technical Services to evaluate the links between “maintenance and repair, general helper” and asbestos to determine if SEM requires clarification. Depending on the outcome of this review, the DEEOIC agrees to update SEM to include any changes to the toxic substance profile for those labor categories. Otherwise, the Department will provide the Board with any analysis that does not lead to a change to the profiles of those jobs.