Review of Schedule 2 of the Injury Prevention Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2001 (IPRC Act): Report to the Minister of Labour - 2005/06
Schedule 2 of the Injury Prevention, Rehabilitation, and Compensation Act 2001 (IPRC Act) provides a list of occupational disorders and exposures. Claims made for disorders and exposures contained within Schedule 2 are able to be considered more quickly than other claims because the connection between the disorder and an occupational exposure is very clear and accepted internationally be medical experts.
In 2004, the National Occupational Health and Safety Advisory Committee (NOHSAC) released a report that described the burden of occupational disease and injury in New Zealand. The report made a detailed analysis of the evidence concerning work-related disorders in New Zealand. The analysis considered the likely causative occupational exposures, the strength of evidence regarding the connection between occupational exposures and the risk of developing the disorders, and the prevalence of exposure in the New Zealand workforce. The report also contained an estimate of the number of fatal and non-fatal occurrences of work-related disease and injury that occur in New Zealand each year[i].
The report highlighted that the official number of occurrences of fatal and non-fatal work-related disease and injury in New Zealand significantly underestimates the true number. It also showed that there are a large number of disorders for which there is good evidence of a strong connection to work-related exposures. Comparison of the report’s findings with the New Zealand Schedule 2, which contains a list of formally recognised diseases and toxic substances, showed that Schedule 2 does not include many disorders for which there is strong evidence of connection to occupational exposures.
In 2005, based on the results of the NOHSAC report and other relevant research, the Ministerial Advisory Panel on Work-related Gradual Process Disease and Infection reported concerns that Schedule 2 was too restrictive, particularly in regard to work-related gradual process disease and infection.
Therefore, in May 2005, the Honourable Ruth Dyson, Associate Minister for Labour and Minister for the ACC, requested NOHSAC to assist in a review of Schedule 2 This assistance was to involve a review of the NOHSAC report to inform the review of Schedule 2, and specifically to identify and document:
- the disorders where the causal link between exposure and development of the disorder is well established; and
- the prevalence of such disorders/diseases in the community (including work and non-work causative factors).
This report provides the result of the requested review.
The overall aim of the project was to provide background information and recommendations to support a review of Schedule 2 of the IPRC Act.