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Gradual Process Recommendations Positive Start

09 March 2006

Work-Related Gradual Process Recommendations Positive Start, says CTU

The recommendations of the Ministerial Advisory Panel on Work-Related Gradual Process, Disease or Infection provide a long overdue focus on the 'Cinderella status' of occupational disease victims under our ACC scheme, the Council of Trade Unions said today.

"This panel has played an important role in helping to focus on the under-recognition of occupational disease," said Ross Wilson, CTU President. "We commend the work the panel has done, and look forward to progressing the review of coverage under the Injury Prevention, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act as a matter of urgency."

The CTU supports the recommendation of the Advisory Panel that Schedule 2 of the Act be updated as quickly as possible. This schedule covers injuries where the claimant doesn't need to prove a causal link between their employment and their condition.

"Workers cover under Section 30 of the Act also needs to be tidied up, to ensure the effective treatment and compensation for gradual process conditions and diseases such as Occupational Overuse Syndrome and exposure to chemical poisons," said Ross Wilson.

"The National Occupation Health and Safety Advisory Committee report in June this year has highlighted that up to 1000 New Zealanders die each year from work-related diseases, yet only a handful receive any compensation at all," said Ross Wilson.

ENDS

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