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Asbestos in motor vehicle, building & plumbing industry, & Don Polly on ACC claims processes!!!

#1 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 10:09 PM

Please be mindful some of the links do not work in this article.
If Don Polly is reading this or anyone who is in contact with him would please inform him.

The links on the top right hand side do work & content is posted in post #2

Asbestos One mans story.

"Every problem has a gift for you in its hands." -Richard Bach

Reproduced with the kind permission of Don Polly from "Metal" May 2001 (NZEPMU)

Former motor mechanic and now EPMU journalist Don Polly underwent a series of respitory tests for asthma - or worse. Polly had a special reason to be be concerned. Between 1960 and 1980, he had specialised in repair and maintenance of car braking systems which use asbestos. "I've probably bonded, riveted, ground and fitted a few thousand sets of brake linings in my time" Polly says. "Never really gave it much a thought. Until now".



Press Articles


OVER the next 10 years, several thousand builders, plumbers and mechanics will experience the sudden personal fear that a persistent cough and shortness of breath they’ve tried to ignore may be something much more serious.

Most, like me, will come home with puffers and pills to control minor allergies. But far too many workers will find that deadly asbestos poisoning will change what’s left of their lives.

While the use of asbestos in New Zealand has been all but banned for almost a decade, the long-term effects of asbestos exposure are only just starting.

It can take 30 to 50 years after exposure for an asbestos-related disease to become apparent.

New Zealand can expect asbestos-related diseases to reach epidemic proportions during the next 10 to 15 years.
Over the past 20 years, such diseases have increased more than 1000 per cent. By 2012, one overseas trade union journal expects asbestos related. diseases “will be the largest single cause of male mortality under the age of 65.”
By then, New Zealand scientists suggest, cancer deaths related to asbestos will be equal to those of melanoma, already proportionately the highest in the world.

In the 1940s, Kiwi industry took to this amazing material like bees to honey. New Zealand pioneered the world development of asbestos cement for walls and cladding.

Thousands of 40-year old asbestos corrugated roofs and roofing tiles are only beginning to disintegrate now. Up to 99% of NZ vinyl floors laid between the late 60s and mid-80s are likely to contain asbestos. Until 1970, asbestos was used to filter beer and wine.

The extent of asbestos still found in textured ceilings, paint, linoleum, insulation, protective clothing, firedoors, plus the miles of lagging around hot water and steam pipes and boilers throughout homes, offices, ships and factories is indicative of the problem.

One reason that asbestos-related diseases have not been highly publicised in New Zealand, is the emphasis that has been placed on smoking-related diseases, often confusing asbestos illnesses with smoking.

Smoking will seriously compound the risks of asbestos. The American Medical Association Journal estimates that an asbestos worker who is also a smoker is twice as likely to get lung cancer as a non-smoking asbestos worker, and is more than 90 times as likely to die from lung cancer as a non-smoking person not exposed to asbestos.

There has also been vast underreporting of asbestos-related illnesses. This is partly because of the emphasis on smoking-related diseases mentioned above, and partly because of the natural reluctance of people trying to hide the problem, hoping instead, that the coughing, rasping, breathlessness, phlegm, weakness, and lethargy would somehow, just go away.
Who really wants to know about lung cancer at 45 years of age, or 50? Or even 60 for that matter?

Called “the worst occupational health hazard of the century,” asbestos was known to be medically harmful 100 years ago, but New Zealand officialdom has had a history of slow acceptance and even slower response.

By 1931, Britain had established restrictions on the manufacture and use of asbestos. Forty years later, New Zealand finally legislated its own restrictions.

Associate professor Bill Glass says “the full story of asbestos exposure in New Zealand has yet to be told. It is not a story we will be proud of.” Internationally, asbestos is big business, and this is a factor in a number of countries’ slow response to the danger. The International Centre for Trade Union Rights (whose president is former New Zealand CTU chief Ken Douglas), says that “the asbestos industry is as capable and famous as is the tobacco industry for defending its poisonous product and for using similar tactics of half-truths, cover-ups and outright lies.”

Governments that reject imports of raw asbestos can have a tough time. Two years ago France tried to ban asbestos imports, but Canada challenged the ban at the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) free-trade court, which has a very poor history of supporting environmental and health issues.

It’s not the first time that the WTO (whose president is former Labour prime minister Mike Moore), has faced widespread working-class anger. The WTO decision on the French ban is expected this month, and will have major implications for a proposed total European Union asbestos ban.

Those workers most at risk in New Zealand will be long-serving plumbers, fitters, electricians and laggers who will experience 40 per cent of expected asbestos-related lung cancers.

Another 23 per cent of the victims will be builders, carpenter and asbestos cement workers. Watersiders at 5 per cent are more at risk than motor mechanics at 2 per cent.

Removing old lagging and sprayed asbestos insulation is the most dangerous category of asbestos exposure. Working with raw asbestos and manufacturing processes is next.

However, things do change. In 1980, The Department of Health assured workers that brake linings held “little cause for concern because the material is one of the least hazardous variety and generally becomes modified under the heat of use.”
Ten years later, Wellington Clinical School epidemiologist Neil Pearce confirmed the major cancer risks from the “safe” chrysotile asbestos used in brake linings, and encouraged people using protective measures while working with all types of asbestos.

As dangerous as installing asbestos building materials may have been, it is far more dangerous to remove it 40 or 50 years later. Asbestos fibres do not disintegrate, but bonding agents holding them together do, and the risk of free-floating asbestos dust multiplies.Without proper protection and close attention to safe removal procedure, the present 15-year epidemic will only be a taste of what’s to come.

The OSH/Department of Labour’s 1999 revised Guideline for the Management and Removal of Asbestos
lays out the requirements for workers involved with asbestos and for employers or owners of premises where asbestos is found. Some aspects of asbestos work such as asbestos removal, is restricted to direct supervision by a person with a Certificate of Competence in this work.

The two OSH national asbestos registers are maintained at the Wellington School of Medicine.
One documents cases of asbestos exposure. The other cites instances of asbestos-related disease. OSH is not strategically involved with the registers, and its funding in this area has been cut.

Unions, ACC and the health service need better access to each other and to the registers, which, apart from being voluntary and incomplete, are largely inactive and have little relationship to reality.

The critical issue for many sufferers of asbestos-related diseases is early diagnosis and adequate compensation, which proper monitoring with active, updated registers will help to establish.

While there have been no recent advances in medical treatment for asbestos-related illnesses, and none are foreseen in the near future, respiratory and lung specialist Peter Martin believes early medical contact is essential.

“Lung cancer,” he says, “is the most common form of asbestos-related disease, and is often treatable, especially in early stages.”

Even when the disease is not treatable, “it is not necessarily an instant death sentence, and early monitoring will help to promote a quality of life.”

Since the early 1970s the EPMU has been closely involved in seeking better recognition of asbestos-related diseases, adequate compensation, worker education, and enforced site protection.

Other unions, especially in the building finishing and service sectors, have also experienced high exposures.
A large number of workers who have been seriously exposed to asbestos dust are not members of a trade union, and will need as much on-site information and encouragement as possible.

EPMU national health and safety officer Mike Ward
explains: “The first principle of working with asbestos is knowing if you are or not. If there is any possibility you will be handling material with asbestos, check it out first.

“The second principle is to have appropriate protection for yourself and those around you. The third principle is not to create dust.

“Asbestos selects its victims. The worker doing the job is not always the first person affected.
“Innocent people in the vicinity — even the person washing the dusty overalls —are often the ones who get ill.
“Just limiting dust, wearing dust masks, and wetting down the working area does not ensure safety when working with asbestos.
“It’s vital that workers and especially supervisors are familiar with the guidelines.”

Ward says the amount of asbestos removal work remaining is still extensive, and that knowledge and proper use of protective equipment is the only sure way that workers can protect themselves.

“I don’t want to panic anybody,” he says. “But asbestos is still here, the disease is still increasing to epidemic proportions.
‘This is a wake-up call.”

[Click here] For More information on Mesothelioma or Asbestosis

Performance imports Marine diesels and drive systems, cambridge new zealand new zealand cavers, speleological links Kiwi Biker Scene Hamilton Tomo Group waikato head injury society hamilton new zealand Premium New Zealand search New Zealand Webmaster Tools Premium New Zealand links Premium New Zealand links New Zealand Webmaster Tools 3:2 banner exchange New Zealands funkiest online intimate storeCaving climbing kayaking Cambridge Motor Park - Cambridge - New Zealand Heartland - Farm Stay - Cambridge - New Zealand hydro rd Bed and Breakfast - Lake Karapiro - Cambridge New Zealand Jakama Lodge - Farm Stay - Cambridge - New Zealand VeeWees - Farm Stay - Cambridge - New Zealand Accommodation Guide - Cambridge New Zealand Free Classifieds - Cambridge New Zealand 1'st class Landscapes - Matamata New Zealand Personals - Cambridge - New Zealand Editor

Reproduced with the kind permission of Don Polly from "Metal" May 2001 (NZEPMU)

#2 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 10:13 PM

ACC Transcripts
"It is better to debate a question without settling it than to settle a question without debating it." -Jeseph Joubert

trusted to deliver for them the services and rehabilitation ...

built a nice little conscience easer into their equation....

Oh well I shouldn't blame the case managers should I...

Fair? yeah right

ACC claimants is now well and truly tried and tested...

7 billion dollars worth of money gathered by compulsory levies...

up against a multibillion-dollar organisation...

"We have one case manager in our area who we call Hitlers daughter"

abuse their position of power and make out to all their staff that I'm a physical threat....

Warts and all.

Gives me something to park my broomstick on though.

Now you'd think that somebody in ACC would have a copy of this

"just don't mention that you've been poisoned" was the advice I was given.


ACC File Audit
Unlucky for Some

In its July/August Newsletter the New Zealand Business Excellence Foundation states...

Thoughts about ACC

So what do you think of ACC?

@$#^&%^*(#@@%@% (Gratuitous expletives deleted) But I cant really answer like that can I.

Nope this time I do want some serious answers. For instance what do you think of the concept of ACC and its past.

When the New Zealand ACC scheme was established it was supposed to be an innovative world class idea. It was designed to ensure that all New Zealanders were fairly compensated for accidents, regardless of cause or fault.

Today its a compulsory insurance scheme that is ripping everybody off, and of course being ripped off royally by unscrupulous medical "professionals".
We'll get back to that. What drives ACC today?


The short answer has to be money.

The Long answer involves Politics, Money, Media Manipulation, Money, government Mismanagement, Money, Fraud and of course Money.

Firstly the Government wrecked public confidence in ACC in the mid nineties. Using the media and by praying on inherent prejudice. ( Think back to the add campaigns i.e. dob in a bludger be he ACC, social welfare, sickness beneficiary) Now anybody who is on ACC for more than a year is seen as a pariah. (What happened to the Jews in Germany in 1938?).

Successive chief executives have ended up in court and been convicted of fraud. The Board that runs ACC has never ever been held accountable for its stuff ups, or for failing to have in place adequate accountability mechanisms to detect questionable and unethical conduct.

Some sectors tried to duck paying their fair share of the cost of insurance. Levies were manipulated by successive governments: reduced in election year so that ACC reserves were run down.

Then Bill Birch got hold of ACC. Under Bill Birch ACC was gutted. (Politics). Lump sum compensation was abolished.. That meant an end to fair compensation for people who were injured. You no longer had the ability to recover adequate compensation in the way that was available before ACC was established; remembering of course that when ACC was established you gave up the right to sue.

Then the Government became arbitrary with the rules of who would be compensated. It started to depict the genuinely injured as mere malingerers. Everyone who was hurt was treated like a bludger. People became suspicious of ACC, because it was no longer there for them. It was no longer an institution to be trusted to deliver for them the services and rehabilitation that was part of the philosophy of the original ACC..

ACC was then privatized. Well fortunately for us that didn't last too long. ACC lost too much money. The private insurers weren't interested in purchasing the ACC, of course the Private insurers creamed the profits for a year or so.

The Employers weren't at all happy with the increased insurance levies they had to pay and the employees weren't at all happy having to pay so many compulsory levies for this insurance either.

This period however allowed a whole new health industry to evolve. What I would call the insurance service health industry.

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Thoughts about ACC

What do you consider this insurance service health industry to be?

A rip-off!

Look ACC has all the cards in their court and they stack the deck!. They write their own laws. They require that all claimants are only able to use ACC accredited professionals. Sure you can use your local GP to get treatment but for any assessments you must go to these accredited service providers.

ACC allow a lifespan of three years for serious cases. At the end of this three year period if you've suffered a serious accident then you can normally expect to be off the ACC books. This insurance service health industry consists of numerous small companies of accredited service providers, providing "rehabilitation" and "assessment".

The rehabilitation offered is often just a token amount. Just enough to satisfy ACC that it has met its own requirements in offering rehabilitation.

The assessment process is also a big have. ACC will assess the ass out of you gradually whittling away your condition until they can legitimately claim that your sprained ankle or what ever does not prevent you working thirty or so hours per week. They often seem to overlook the fact that you can't work because of the effects of your accident.

Oh sure they've built a nice little conscience easer into their equation. They grant you a permanent tax free, independence allowance and kick you off into the WINZ system. It saves them money! and only 20% of claimants are well enough to even contemplate appealing that process.

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#3 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 10:14 PM

“After Christmas Comes”

How many others have received one of those ACC Christmas Letters?

23'rd December 1999

Dear ......,
Important Information

I write to advise you that the assessments you have recently completed show's that you have a capacity for work.

Your weekly compensation will stop three months from the date of this letter. This means your final weekly compensation payment will be made on the 23 March .....

For your information we have included an Occupational Assessment, Medical Assessment,...

Wishing you a happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year


Pardon? I haven't successfully completed a work trial yet! Yet alone any meaningful rehab or training what the hell is going on!

Oh read the attached reports. - He said what? but that's completely out of context.

How can one small brain dead individual possibly argue against ACC's "experts"?! They are right in what they say. What they say about you is true yet paints a completely false picture of your condition. These "experts" are good. In my case the ACC Occupational assessor was quite happy to provide a medical diagnosis to the ACC medical assessor. It was totally irrelevant that he wasn't qualified to do so and in fact had ignored my GP's stipulations for the assessment. The ACC medical assessor obviously put a lot of work and thought into his report. However he had had only half the facts provided to him, not much help to me in the short or long term!.

You can't win can you!

How many other ACC victims can relate to ACC’s mind games and the manipulation or total disregard of the ACC Laws perpetrated by ACC.

What did they hope to achieve by this action? - Yes I will give you one guess and you would be right!

ACC are the cause of so much grief to the injured and their families that if you compiled a survey the results would be shocking.

The only words ACC understand is PROFIT & TERMINATE CLIENT, are they a law unto themselves or not?

Oh well I shouldn't blame the case managers should I. After all they are only working in their own best interests by rewarding themselves fat little Christmas bonuses. Sure Christmas is the ideal time to shaft people, just so long as everyone is off the books before the end of the financial year. Looks good for the statistics and the boss when he's reviewing their performance.

As a management issue maybe ACC should revise the timing of the dispatch of these Seasons Greetings from Hell. that they send with such joy.

Corporate Crimefighters

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#4 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 10:15 PM

Fair? yeah right

You are able to appeal ACC decisions aren't you?

Of course you are. ACC go to great lengths to make each claimant feel that they have a chance of a fair hearing.

What do you mean by that?

Simply put 80% of the claimants won't appeal a decision. ACC hand out a glossy little book detailing the appeals process but they don't tell you one thing!

That in serious cases you are preordained at head office level to fail.

How did you figure that one out?

"court rules about admissibility of evidence don't apply"

Ever noticed how the only person required to swear on oath about evidence is the appellant? I can see the justice in that.

#5 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 10:16 PM


Jocko, Surely you cant be serious in alluding that ACC commits fraud?

Fraud as defined under section 245 of the crimes act requires that a person gains some pecuniary advantage.

Does this mean that when the case manger who has lied, cheated and dissembled files in order to terminate a long term claim, is awarded an incentive bonus that he has gained financially and therefore committed fraud.?
Does the ACC branch manager overseeing the case managers receive an incentive bonus for supervising and directing the fraudulent activities of case mangers? Is the branch manger committing fraud? Never.
Is the ACC Corporation itself guilty of fraud because it has established a system where its branch managers and case managers have to act fraudulently to obtain incentive bonuses? I would observe that by not having pay a long term claimant removed from the system by fraudulent means that the corporation is benefiting itself financially.

No! the ACC system is working flawlessly and as designed. Obviously the culture, mindset and procedures to defraud ACC claimants is now well and truly tried and tested.

After all the government sacked several of the ACC’s CEO’s for being caught committing fraudulent activities didn’t it !! The CEO’s appointed to ACC after that regrettable history are much better fraudsters and haven’t been caught.

Yet !!

Maybe I’m just as far off the planet as was the Waikato Regional manager for ACC in 1998 who wrote to my advocates advising them that they couldn’t act as my advocates without the permission of ACC duh ! Maybe not ?

A C C.....are they there to help???

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 10:17 PM


I also see that ACC's latest figures show they've achieved an A+ superior credit rating by reducing their 11 billion dollar "Actuarials" to 3.9 billion dollars. A difference of 7 billion dollars.

These actuarials/unsecured liabilities are long term ACC debts to people who are maimed and injured and entitled to weekly E.R.C. , independence allowance etc.

By exploiting and abusing their own system ACC deny to genuine claimants any natural justice. By using their tame medical and occupational assessors until they obtain a successful (to ACC) outcome where a genuine injury has been obfiscurated or minimilised and ACC no longer accepts liability.

That's 7 billion dollars worth of money gathered by compulsory levies that is now denied to genuine claimants.

Who's' ripping who off?

#7 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 10:18 PM

Refugee Status

I have phoned the US Embassy in Wellington. I was provided the same information.

Obviously I'm not the only one !!!!

You are quite correct. To get the foundation information to: what appears
to be one of the greatest frauds of all time, you can ask for a copy of
their annual report. I would suggest getting a copy of each of their annual
reports over the last ten years in order that we can properly determined the
fraud. I suspect that they have progressively moved towards this fraud. As
they have not provided for the proper administration of the legislation it
is very likely they had committed sedition as well. For this reason I had
been accepted in principle as a refugee under United Nations Charter as in
my case I reached the thresholds. It is also likely that the ACC have
fallen within the technical description of "genocide."

The difficulty is, as is common with victims of our type throughout the
world, we are up against a multibillion-dollar organisation that reports
directly to government and government is not accepting any independent
report of a structured type.

A C C.....are they there to help???

#8 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 10:20 PM

A threat to ACC

And I love the way ACC provide complete copies of all their paperwork when you ask nicely using rule 6 of the Privacy Act.

Funny I've only ever received this single document once. It doesn't appear in any of the other "complete and final copies of my files" that ACC has sent to me since.....

I wasn't aware that I had been placed on this "at risk register"? or why. I'm not sure how an ACC case manager can even sign and place this document on file when he wasn't the case manager at the time.

I only wonder why they abuse their position of power and make out to all their staff that I'm a physical threat. Or is it just another ploy to try to intimidate a defenceless ACC claimant and get me me to shut up.

Am I the only person in this country that has one of these. Because I would like to know.

Well yes its official according to Mr Ed. I do indeed hold an alleged document which refers to an alleged risky claimant register. Sort of glosses over the fact that ACC have now removed it from my file after confirming its existence and the fact that the case manager placed it on file before he was even employed by the corporation. Its nice to know that ACC are sorry they didn't follow procedure. It also very reassuring to be told that "dont know" and "never met" are acceptable answers on a form such as this and that I cant do anything about that.

I'm sure ACC will be sorry that I've been able to get my hands on it.

There is nothing alleged about the fact that ACC do indeed maintain a secret register that holds ACC secret and probably illegal information about a client. Why not ask your case manager about the status of your "claimant care indicator". Better yet, ask your case manager to explain the claimant care indicator to you.

Ask for a copy of the ACC Worksafe manual for managing aggressive threatening situations.

To be even more helpful you can suggest to your Case Manager that they look in Today/HR home page/Toolbox/WorkSAFE.

Of course you'll have to get through the ACC Bull shit because they reckon it shouldn't be supplied to any person not employed by ACC unless authorised by the General Manager Human resources. A nice polite request under the official information act should work quite well.

#9 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 10:21 PM

Warts and all

"16. What you have received is a warts and all ,untampered with ,paper record of your dealings with ACC.

I Hope this answers your concerns. It is the policy of the corporation to treat claimants with dignity and respect. I am unaware of any failing to do so on my part."

Complete copy of my file 1998 vs 2000 ?

The final and complete copy of my file provided 19/02/2002

Yes I Agree I do have a warts and all complete copy of all my dealings with ACC

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 10:22 PM

Photocopying Error

And what about these photocopying errors"?

Ha, in a pigs eye, that excuse from ACC has worn thin over time.

I did feel sorry for the lady at the service center though, She got really upset when I hassled her about missing paperwork and assured me that she'd copied everything on my closed file. She'd even searched for stuff because she'd noticed it was missing too when I re-requested a full and complete copy 6 weeks later..

Its the same old story isn't it. Blame it on something or somebody else. Bullshit 14 pages of paperwork doesn't just evaporate in six weeks.

Still doesn't explain how I end up with untold extra copies of my Japanese complaint form in the full and complete , "warts and all" copy of my files.

They must love that memo but I reckon they should wait until I send it to them individualy. My present ACC case manager has my permission to help himself to several copies.

Japanese complaint form

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 10:23 PM

The Plan

"so what do you think ACC do"?

We're starting to see a pattern in the files we look at.

Because each claimant is battling on their own they just don't realize how widespread the corruption is within ACC. The files I've been able to review all follow the same pattern or plan.

Firstly ACC use their own specialists. They never seem to provide the complete documented medical history to these Dr's. Its just one small piece left off here, another report left out there. All of a sudden the reports on the claimants are not quite true. Missing symptom here, an assumption that the claimant can do something that's been proved impossible there. Over time it starts to paint a picture of a recovering or in some cases a more able or even dishonest claimant than is the true case.

In my case the files the WRAP specialists received from ACC failed to mention one thing. That my work trial had been canned by my GP because of the fumes and work environment. All they got was a glowing report from the Occupational Therapists saying I was working hard and doing wonderfully well.

So what what do these specialists recommend?. Office bloody work and I'm off the books!

Mind you my one of my ACC case manager's was really helpful and suggested I go and work in a paint factory. "just don't mention that you've been poisoned" was the advice I was given.

"But surely that's not happening in every case"?

Maybe not but in every claimants file we've seen similar things.

"What else do they do"?

Well every file we've seen is immediately closed and sent off to their service center. It seems strange that files are closed even when they're in review don't you think?


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Posted 25 July 2012 - 10:25 PM


"13. ...One reason for the confusing nature is possibly that when a file is at review the original is with the review office and the case manager is working with a copy file such as you received. When it comes back from review new material subsequent to its dispatch is reattached to the original..."

I 'm not confused! It is ACC's job to provide me with a true and complete copy of my file! not suggest that I now make an appointment so that we can compare files for missing documents.

I wonder how many security guards will be there this time?

ACC probably think they will intimidate me again.

Next time they wish to see me in person in their office I just hope that they have finished all their renovations and the paint is dry. Maybe the security guard will confiscate my pen?

My response

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 10:26 PM


It was interesting to note that on the 12'th of September this year ACC loudly proclaimed that it won the business section of the 2002 Performance Excellence Study Awards. See Scoop.

I'm a little confused about this. The New Zealand Business Excellence Foundation in its July/August Newsletter states the following.

"NZBEF chief executive Mike Watson says once evaluators reach consensus, they will undertake extensive site visits of organisations that qualify for this stage of the process. A final feedback report incorporating the entire process will then be completed for all applicants, and judging will begin on September 11.

Once judging is completed, the moment of truth finally arrives. On the morning of September 26 2002, the national evaluator panel will be debriefed and a lunch will be held. In the afternoon, award applicants will showcase their achievements in addressing performance excellence, then the awards presentation will take place in the early evening followed by a cocktail party."

I guess I'll just have to wait until the 26'th to find out the truth.

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 10:28 PM

ACC Wins Second Business Excellence Award

Monday, 16 September 2002, 2:08 pm
Press Release: ACC

13 September 2002
ACC media release

ACC Wins Second Business Excellence Award

ACC Healthwise has won the New Zealand Business Excellence Foundation’s Progress Award for 2002 – its second business excellence award this week.

On Thursday it won the business section of the 2002 Performance Excellence Study Awards.

Healthwise is the division within ACC responsible for purchasing the treatment and rehabilitation services provided by health practitioners and for developing related policy.

It oversees an $840 million annual budget, and maintains data on over 13,000 providers and 1400 contracts covering 48 different health services, ranging from home help to elective surgery and trauma care.

The New Zealand Business Excellence Foundation makes only five awards each year and assessors put entrants through a rigorous examination, includes site visits, interviews and the study of documentation.

The Business Excellence Awards, like the Study Awards, used the internationally recognised Baldrige Performance Excellence criteria as a basis for assessment.

The Baldrige criteria provides a framework for assessing an organisation’s performance in seven categories: leadership, strategic planning, customer and market focus, information and analysis, human resource focus, process management and business results.

ACC Healthwise was commended in their achievement in Human Resources.

Healthwise general manager Dr David Rankin said the Foundation’s award was a wonderful achievement, especially as it was the first time it had entered.

“One of the key reasons for entering the awards was the fact that Healthwise has been requiring more and more of its contracted providers to meet a external certification that their work is high quality,” Dr Rankin said.

“The Baldrige criteria sets a very high standard, and Healthwise was determined to demonstrate their ability to achieve that standard. We certainly have a new sympathy for providers who are undergoing quality certification,” he said.

“The award is a tremendous validation of the energy and dedication that Healthwise commits to developing robust policy and in implementing contracts with health providers.”


© Scoop Media

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 10:41 PM


"It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens." -Baha'u'llah

New Zealand can expect asbestos related disease to reach epidemic proportions during the next 10 to 15 years

12.08.2004 Milestone asbestos payout ordered
A judge's decision over an asbestos-related death clears the way for
hundreds of people to seek lump-sum compensation payments.

05.11.2004 Asbestos deaths in the hundreds, study shows

Researcher Dr Pam Smartt, of the Christchurch School of Medicine, believes even the larger figure vastly understates the seriousness of an asbestos epidemic fuelled by widespread workplace exposure to the deadly mineral between the 1940s and 1980s.

05.11.2004 Better systems needed for asbestos victims
- lawyer Commenting on the study, New Zealand Medical Association chairman Dr Tricia Briscoe said the fact that 20 to 40 per cent of adult New Zealand males were likely to have had some form of workplace exposure to asbestos was extremely significant.

06.11.2004 Hundreds missing out on compo for asbestos
Under-reporting of asbestos-related deaths could mean hundreds of widows and families have missed out on compensation, a Wellington law lecturer says.

We’ve known about it for 4000 years

NEITHER the use of asbestos nor the illness that comes from using the man-made mineral fibre is new.

Traces of asbestos have been found as a strengthening agent in Finnish pottery 4000 years old. Early Greeks coined the word asbestos meaning “not consumable,” and ancient Roman historians wrote about “the diseases of slaves” who were involved in processing lead, quicksilver mining and weaving asbestos.

By the time of Christ, transparent bladder skins were used as primitive forms of respiratory protection to prolong the working life of slaves.

In the 12th century, Marco Polo brought back asbestos cloth from Asia, and raw asbestos was used to line fireplaces in Europe. Asbestos was first commercially mined in Canada in 1880, and later Russia and Zimbabwe. Further large deposits were found in Australia, and much smaller deposits in New Zealand’s Dusky Sound and Golden Bay, where small amounts were mined at Takaka.

English factory inspectors found serious health problems caused by asbestos in 1899. By 1918, giant Prudential Insurance refused to insure asbestos workers.

Asbestosis (scarring of the lungs) was medically described in 1927. Seven other asbestos-related diseases including mesothelioma, pleural and lung cancer, have since been defined.

Almost all New Zealand’s supply of crude asbestos was imported from the mid 1930's peaking to 12,500 tonnes in 1974, and finally stopping in 1992. Blue and brown asbestos were banned in 1984. Friction material containing white asbestos, such as brake and clutch linings, is still imported, although in line with international thinking, there are moves to have this banned, too. The problem today goes beyond asbestos. Fibreglass, another and even older man-made mineral fibre, is proving to be a dangerous substitute for asbestos dust. Fibreglass is already used commercially in more than 30,000 products with a further 3000 new products introduced each year.

While damaging exposure to unsecured fibreglass is apparently not limited just to the respiratory system, the level of danger, and what to do about it still has to be officially addressed.

One Mans Story



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Asbestos, Mesothelioma Information

Reproduced with the kind permission of Don Polly from "Metal" May 2001 (NZEPMU)

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#16 User is offline   bygeorge 

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 09:19 AM

Cars with asbestos parts in New Zealand - 16/08/2012.

Chinese-made cars with asbestos parts that are being recalled in Australia, are also in New Zealand.

Great Wall and Chery vehicles have been found to contain deadly asbestos fibres in engines and exhaust gaskets.

Car review website editor Clive Matthew-Wilson says there are several thousand of these vehicles here and most of them have asbestos in them.

"My understanding is that the importers are going to put a red sticker inside the bonnet telling people to be careful when the remove parts. It's a fairly low level response and I think it's fairly inadequate given the circumstances."

Clive Matthew-Wilson says the affected parts should be replaced and New Zealand should ban the import of goods containing deadly asbestos.
YET ANOTHER EXAMPLE of NZ GOVERNMENT not really caring. Who will know what the red-dot under the bonnet would mean, and then
how is it made to always be there and not fall off or removed. NZ GOVERNMENT will not legislate to protect your health and then blame you for getting
sick as in a work-idle/averse person but will spend ACC money ensuring you have to fight all the way.

#17 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 12:48 PM

If Kiwi Rail trains manufactured in China have asbestos in them, do other vehicles also have asbestos in them that are made & exported from China, where many are now manufactured, to other countries including to New Zealand?

Think about it.

It also raises the question how many of those whom are employed at these manufacturing plants in China have or will get asbestos and then migrate to New Zealand & then seek help from our Medical System for lung/respiratory related issues.

It's a known fact Chinese people whom visit or come to live in NZ often have "respiratory related" conditions that may well originate from there workplaces.

Freight threatened by asbestos find
Last updated 11:24 04/03/2014

A union is poised to pull train workers from operating asbestos-contaminated locomotives, making it "very difficult" to move freight around New Zealand.

Forty DL locomotives KiwiRail bought from China during the last four years were removed from service on Friday, after asbestos was discovered in a sound-proofing compound.

The locomotives were quarantined for testing.

Rail and Maritime Transport Union general secretary Wayne Butson
said this morning that he understood tests from four of the locomotives were back from the lab, but KiwiRail had not told the union the results.

In any case, they were airborne tests and he said the union believed tests where a cloth was run along a surface inside the locomotive then tested for asbestos, were more telling about whether asbestos was present. He understood those tests had not yet come back.

He called on KiwiRail to maintain its quarantine of the locomotives until all asbestos had been removed.

If it did not do this, the union, which covers more than 90 per cent of train workers, would tell its members not to operate the locomotives, effectively meaning they could not run.

"It's going to make life very, very difficult for rail and I really feel sorry for the customers of KiwiRail," Butson said.

KiwiRail had other locomotives, meaning some freight could still be moved without use of the Chinese machinery, he said.

While the quarantine had come at a fortunate time - when less milk was being transported, Solid Energy was moving less coal, and Tauranga's port was quiet - the sidelined locomotives could have a "significant impact" on freight if the asbestos was not cleared rapidly.

Clearing the asbestos, especially from locomotive cabs, would be a major operation.

Some services had already been cancelled, he said.

Over the past few years, workers had spotted asbestos in the locomotives but Butson said KiwiRail had reassured the union there was none.

The union would only let its members back on the locomotives if lab tests showed there was no asbestos present. But given asbestos had long been suspected, and now found, this was unlikely, Butson said.

"If they have lied to us in the past, how do we know they are not lying to us now?" he asked.

KiwiRail said it could not comment on Butson's claims before this afternoon.

- Fairfax NZ New

#18 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 03:26 PM

There was a very well written letter by Dr Kelvin Walls, Newmarket in the NZ Herald about this matter relating to asbestos in imports on Tuesday March 4, 2014.

If someone has access to that & can put it online here it would be appreciated.



#19 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 03:55 PM

Government must do more about Asbestos problem

Tuesday, 27 May 2014, 2:33 pm

Press Release: New Zealand Council of Trade Unions

Asbestos: biggest workplace killer – Government must do more now

The CTU is deeply concerned about the exposure to deadly asbestos Christchurch rebuild workers are experiencing. Fletchers, the major contractor responsible for a significant part of the rebuild project, will be in court on Friday facing possible charges for not complying with the law and keeping workers safe.

“Asbestos causes cancer. No exposure is safe. We have known this fact since at least 1986 when the World Health Organisation declared just that. Demolition workers, tradespeople, carpenters and householders may have been needlessly exposed to asbestos fibres in Christchurch. The Government should have been proactive in its approach to the presence of this known workplace carcinogen. The Government has a moral obligation to take urgent action. This should include monitoring the people who have been exposed, and compensating them if needed,” said CTU Policy Director, Bill Rosenberg.

“New Zealand is out of step with many other countries around the world as we fail to have a plan in place to eliminate asbestos. Banning all importation of asbestos products is a critical step. In Australia and the U.K., asbestos products are strictly banned at the border. Urgency should be given to upgrading the asbestos regulations rather than waiting until April 2015. There should be notification of work with asbestos, employers should be required to keep records of working with asbestos, and buildings known to contain asbestos should be registered,” Rosenberg said. The CTU listed twelve action points on asbestos.

“The Government has a goal of reducing workplace accidents by 25 percent by 2020. It must also have a goal around asbestos. The European Parliament has agreed to 'eradicate' asbestos by 2028.” Rosenberg said. “In New Zealand we should have a national plan to eliminate asbestos from buildings by 2030. The aim should be to completely eradicate asbestos from all workplaces,” said Rosenberg.

“MBIE estimates that 170 deaths occur a year from asbestos-related diseases, and that this will rise to over 300 as the results of the ‘asbestos boom’ of the 1970s make themselves felt. Even 170 is double the number of workplace deaths each year from injury – a number which is itself far too high. We can and must prevent more deaths in future decades,” said Rosenberg.

“The risks have been known to employers and government for thirty years. There is no excuse for putting off decisive action any longer.” Rosenberg said.

The NZCTU recommends:
1. An immediate priority to upgrading the asbestos health and safety regulations currently these are slated to come into force alongside the proposed Health and Safety at Work Act in mid-2015. This is too far away and the Minister of Labour should regulate as quickly as possible. Further amendments can be made following more detailed consultation.
2. As MBIE has proposed, the regulations should be based on the Australian approach which includes a presumption that asbestos is present in the built environment and therefore workplaces, and lowering the exposure limits which are out of line with international standards, and require more prescription in relation to removal work.
3. There should be mandatory licensing and training for those working with asbestos (both maintenance and demolition);
4. The distinction between friable and non-friable asbestos is unhelpful given the possible deterioration of previously non-friable asbestos. This should be removed.
5. A complete ban on the importation of asbestos-containing products should be implemented.
6. A National Plan to eliminate all asbestos containing material from the built environment by 2030.

Notification and registers
7. All work with asbestos notifiable under workplace health and safety legislation.
8. The Government should take urgent steps to implement a Health Surveillance scheme similar to that used in the United Kingdom for many years. This requires employers (or all persons conducting businesses or undertakings under the proposed law changes) to keep records of worker exposure to hazards such as asbestos for 40 years to allow tracking of long latency diseases such as those caused by asbestos exposure (see Part 26 of our submission on the Health and Safety Reform Bill).
9. All identified asbestos in Christchurch should be registered. If a building contains asbestos materials the priority should be to remove it. If asbestos is identified in a building it should be notified in LIM reports.
10. The National Asbestos Registers should be reinvigorated and improved including by making them compulsory.
11. Lung cancer should be registered and recorded in more detail.
12. There should be a system of notification by medical practitioners of all potential asbestos related conditions/exposures including, lung cancer and pleural plaques [asbestosis and mesothelioma are currently recorded].


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