DEEMED DISEASES LIST UPDATED: COVID REMOVED

Changes to Safe Work Australia's (SWA) deemed diseases list, used to determine eligibility for occupational disease compensation, have included the addition of two cancers, while COVID-19 has been removed from the list due to widespread community transmission.

These changes were based on a review by Professor Tim Driscoll, who noted that COVID-19 infections are now more likely to result from community exposures rather than occupational settings. The deemed diseases list facilitates workers' access to compensation by assuming disease development from occupational exposure.

COVID-19 was removed from the list due to its prevalence in the general community. Firefighting work was linked to increased risks of mesothelioma and bladder cancer, resulting in their addition to the list.

Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) and certain veterinarian diseases were not added due to insufficient evidence of an occupational connection.

Workers can still claim compensation for diseases not on the list through regular workers' compensation mechanisms, though it is necessary to establish a clear connection between the disease and workplace exposure.

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