24 July 2019
[FYI request #10626 email]
Tēnā koe Dan
Your Official Information Act request, reference: GOV-000395
Thank you for your email of 28 June 2019, asking for the fol owing information under the Official
Information Act 1982 (the OIA):
I wish to receive information on cases where Work Related activities of Firefighters have been
determined as the cause of cancer. More specifically:
1. Types of cancer accepted by ACC as being work related to Firefighters
2. Any information regarding the process for considering if the cancer is work related for
Firefighters. This can include but not enough limited to any documentation regarding this
process, or any notes of consideration in cases where they were accepted and NOT but obviously
keeping the privacy’s act in consideration.
Background: providing cover for work-related disease
ACC provides cover for personal injury under the Accident Compensation Act 2001 (the AC Act). Under
this legislation, diseases (including cancer) may be covered as a personal injury if they are caused by a
‘work-related gradual process, infection or disease’. The criteria for this type of injury is provided under
section 30 of the AC Act, and includes the fol owing:
• The personal injury was caused from working in a particular environment or doing a particular task.
• The particular property or characteristic is not found to any material degree in the non-
employment activities of the person.
• The risk of suffering the personal injury is significantly greater for persons who perform the
particular employment tasks or are employed in the particular type of environment.
Accepted claims for cancer for firefighters (question 1)
We have identified five work-related claims by firefighters, (this does not include volunteer firefighters)
for which ACC has provided cover for cancer. The types of cancer covered in these cases have the
following descriptions: multiple myeloma, adenocarcinoma, mesothelioma, and malignant neoplasm of
trachea, bronchus and lung.
Please note, ACC has withheld the names of staff members from the attached documents to protect
their privacy. This decision is made under section 9(2)(a) of the Act. In making this decision we have
determined that withholding this information is not outweighed by the public interest in making it
Process for considering work-related gradual process claims (question 2)
Please find attached ACC’s process for making decisions on work-related gradual process, infection or
disease claims. This was downloaded on 22 July 2019.
ACC considers and assesses each claim on the evidence available. ACC will typically refer claims for a
work-related cancer diagnosis to a Toxicology Panel, which consists of five independent specialists. They
review the medical evidence and the relevant medical literature, and determine the probability of the
cancer being work-related, based on its type and the individual circumstances (e.g. the degree of fire
smoke exposure for the client).
Queries regarding this response
If you have any questions, you can email me at [email address].
If you are not happy with this response, you have the right to make a complaint to the Ombudsman.
Information about how to do this is available at www.ombudsman.parliament.nz
or by phoning 0800
Nāku iti noa, nā
Manager Official Information Act Services
Government Engagement & Support
Accident Compensation Corporation
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