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21.3.4 1930 Act


On the face of it, the 1930 Act's criterion is the toughest of the four. The plain words of S10 – '...the disease is due the nature of the employment in which the employee was engaged by the Commonwealth' appear not to admit liability unless the disease is wholly attributable to employment. This is because there is no explicit accommodation of a situation where the employment contributed only one of several causative factors, i.e. it appears to be 'all or nothing'.

In fact, 'the nature of employment' appears to be a test only in respect of known occupational diseases, i.e. embracing the known hazards of particular industries such as the relationship of silicosis or 'black lung' to underground mining. In that respect, S10 of the 1930 act resembles not 7(1) but S7(2) of the SRCA, which refers specifically to diseases where 'the contraction of the disease among persons who have engaged in such employment is significantly greater than the incidence of the disease among persons who have engaged in other employment...'

Nevertheless, RCG policy is to accept liability to pay compensation for a 1930 Act diseases with complex or diverse causes, where it can be shown that the contribution by employment is the most important, or the principle cause.