Updates to the deemed diseases list

“Deemed diseases” are diseases that, based on scientific evidence, are highly likely to be caused by work, so they are assumed to be work-related in most workers’ compensation claims.

We recently commissioned Dr Tim Driscoll to lead an interim review of the deemed diseases report, following his 2021 review. Based on the review’s findings, the List of Deemed Diseases in Australia and Supporting Guidance Material has been updated to include malignant mesothelioma and bladder cancer associated with work as a firefighter. Safe Work Australia Members also endorsed the review’s recommendation to remove COVID-19, which the latest scientific evidence suggests is too prevalent in the community to assume work is the cause of most infections among workers.

You can read the full report and the revised list of deemed diseases on our website. 

“The aim of a deemed diseases list is to streamline access to workers’ compensation, improve fairness and clarity, and reduce the likelihood of disputes. Safe Work Australia regularly commissions reviews to ensure our list reflects the latest scientific evidence.”

Jim Gilchrist, Assistant Director, Workers’ Compensation Policy