Safe Work Australia has released an updated list of diseases which should be deemed to be connected to a worker's employment, and have strongly encouraged all States and Territories to revise their current list.
The list of 84 conditions includes an inventory of specific cancers that should be deemed automatically connected to a person's occupation if they have been exposed to particular substances throughout their employment. This includes ovarian cancer after exposure to asbestos and a considerable list of malignancies where a person has dealt with ionising radiation.
The Victorian legislation currently contains a list of 25 diseases and illnesses that are deemed to be connected to a person's employment. That means that there is a presumption that they have developed this condition as a result of their work, and the burden is on their employer to prove that their workplace was not the cause of their illness.
The current Victorian list pales in comparison to the conditions proclaimed by Safe Work Australia, and there is still substantial work to be done to recognise illnesses that Victorian workers develop after exposure to particular substances whilst at work. Fortunately, even if a condition does not have a deemed connection to work, compensation can still be awarded where it can be established that work was a significant contributing factor to the development. Bree Knoester, partner at Adviceline Injury Lawyers, specialises in helping people who have sustained illnesses over the course of their employment. If you or someone you know has suffered an illness because of their job, we invite you to speak to one of our expert injury lawyers on (03) 9321 9988.