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Public consultation on Schedule 2 extended

Hon Ruth Dyson
Minister for ACC

31 October 2006 Media Statement

Public consultation on Schedule 2 extended


Public consultation on whether up to 25 more occupational diseases should be added to Schedule 2 has been extended a further month says ACC Minister Ruth Dyson.

In March this year the Ministerial Advisory Panel on Work Related Gradual Process, Disease or Infection recommended an update to Schedule 2 of the Injury Prevention, Rehabilitation and Compensation (IPRC) Act 2001.

A public consultation process started in early October and was to have ended today.

"In order for the public to be able to fully consider the proposed additions, I have extended the time for submissions to 1 December," said Ruth Dyson.

“This public consultation document will be of interest to employer groups, unions, claimants, health professionals and anyone with an involvement in occupational health. I encourage interested groups and individuals to send in a submission."

Among the new diseases and causes which have been proposed, include Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome diagnosed as caused by hand and/or arm vibration, sino-nasal carcinoma diagnosed as caused by working with wood dust and naso-pharyngeal carcinoma diagnosed as caused by formaldehyde.

“By formally recognising these diseases through Schedule 2 it also raises public awareness about the help available from ACC to New Zealanders who develop an occupational disease and makes it simpler for them to get help. I hope it will also lead to greater occupational disease prevention.”

The submission document is available on the Department of Labour website www.dol.govt.nz and the ACC website www.acc.co.nz or by emailing info[at]dol.govt.nz with "Review of Schedule 2" in the subject box.

The new deadline for submissions is 5pm, 1 December 2006.

--

Background
In general, ACC does not cover injuries that are caused by disease, infection or illnesses that result from exposure to a causal agent over a period of time (also known as gradual process), unless they are directly linked to a person’s employment.

Under ACC legislation injuries caused by work-related gradual process, disease or infection are covered if they meet specific criteria:
Firstly there must be an injury that is defined in section 26 (this can be an occupational disease)
Secondly there must be a causal link between the injury and the person’s employment

People who have been diagnosed with a disease listed in Schedule 2 are able to use a more streamlined system for establishing ACC cover. If a person has a disease caused by exposure to a listed substance, ACC can only decline cover if it establishes that the disease is caused by factors other than work.


ENDS

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