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Hazardous Service

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What is hazardous service?

VEA section 120(7)

Hazardous service is service under the VEA of a kind determined by the Minister of Defence in writing via instrument to be hazardous service

Service determined to be hazardous generally involves activities exposing individuals or units to a degree of hazard above and beyond that of normal peacetime duty, such as mine avoidance and clearance, weapons inspections and destruction, Defence Force aid to civil power, Service protected or assisted evacuations and other operations requiring the application of minimum force to effect the protection of personnel or property, or other like activities.

Future Hazardous Service

Hazardous service is essentially a historical nature of service classification which applied prior to the introduction of the current classification system introduced in 1997.  From that time, new operations have been determined as either warlike or non-warlike as warranted.  Operations that meet the definition of hazardous service also fit within the definition of non-warlike service.  As a result, operations that would previously have been declared hazardous service are instead declared non-warlike service.  It is therefore anticipated that there will be no further determinations of hazardous service in the future.

How does it differ from other service?

Hazardous service differs from other similar types of service (such as non-warlike and peacekeeping service) in that the ‘occurrence’ head of liability does not apply to claims for compensation for injury, disease or death connected to hazardous service.  However, as with peacekeeping and non-warlike service, there is coverage for a death, injury or disease that arose out of, or was attributable to hazardous service, resulted from an accident during hazardous service, would not have occurred or been contracted but for the hazardous service, or was contributed to in a material degree or aggravated by the hazardous service. 

The period of time associated with aggravation of a condition also differs for hazardous service: in the case of peacekeeping and defence service, the period of service that contributed to the aggravation must have been 6 months or longer, while there is no such requirement for hazardous service.

What eligibility does hazardous service provide?

Hazardous service provides access to compensation for injury, disease and death relating to that service via Part IV of the VEA, under the more generous ‘reasonable hypothesis’ test and ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ standard of proof.

Hazardous service does not meet the requirements for qualifying service so it does not provide access to service pension.