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22.4.3 Oberon Class Submariners


The Centre for Military and Veterans' Health (CMVH) was tasked with creating a hazard exposure profile for Australian Oberon Class submarines that were in service between 1967-2000 (all of which have now been decommissioned).

Tables 4 and 5, Appendix 5, in the resulting report detail the exposure profiles and level of evidence of the hazards identified in the project. These tables should be used as guidance when assessing a claim for a submariner who served

The profile shown in Tables 4 and 5 illustrate that exposure to certain asphyxiants such as carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide and hydrogen sulphide occurred on the Oberon Class submarines (all of which are specified by the Minister under section 7(1)).  Additionally, Oberon submariners were significantly exposed to the more traditional types of workplace hazards such as noise, heat, musculoskeletal and psychological hazards.  Whilst these types of hazards are not unique to the Oberon submarine, the context (of confined spaces and 24 hour exposures) in which the submariners were exposed was unique.

When considering all future claims relating to service aboard Oberon Class submarines, delegates are now required to have regard to the Tables at the end of this Businessline and also be aware that the provisions contained in section 7(1) of the SRCA may apply in certain circumstances.