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Section 5A of the SRCA defines an 'injury' as:
a)a disease suffered by an employee; or
b)an injury (other than a disease) suffered by an employee, that is a physical or mental injury arising out of, or in the course of, the employee's employment; or
c)an aggravation of a physical or mental injury (other than a disease) suffered by an employee (whether or not that injury arose out of, or in the course of, the employee's employment), that is an aggravation that arose out of, or in the course of, that employment;
but does not include a disease, injury or aggravation suffered as a result of reasonable administrative action taken in a reasonable manner in respect of the employee's employment.
Section 5B defines 'disease' (which is encompassed in the definition of injury above) as:
a)an ailment suffered by an employee; or
b)an aggravation of such an ailment;
that was contributed to, to a significant degree, by the employee's employment by the Commonwealth or a licensee.
Section 7 contains provisions relating to diseases only. Note that 7(4) states the date of injury for a disease is the date an employee first sought medical treatment or the date the disease resulted in incapacity or impairment, meaning that diseases that manifest after 1 December 1988 (the commencement date) are compensable under the SRCA. See section 4.2 for more information on date of injury.
The provisions outlined above are specific criteria that must be met for a condition to satisfy the definition of an 'injury' under the SRCA. This means that it is not acceptable, once liability for an initial injury has been accepted, to simply 'extend liability' to other conditions without examining whether they meet these criteria. This practice goes against the proper application of the Act: for a condition to meet the definition of an injury under the SRCA, it must be specifically found to comply with the criteria outlined above. An incorrect acceptance of a condition as an 'injury' is problematic as it can have flow-on effects on the amount of permanent impairment compensation payable.