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Wednesday, 13 June 1984
Page: 2916

Senator CROWLEY —I ask the Minister representing the Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations whether he has seen an article in yesterday's Age headed: ' Tenosynovitis will cost millions in compo, says solicitor'? Is he aware of comments by the solicitor, Mr John MacMillan, that computer manufacturers claim that ergonomic features built into their products substantially lowered the incidence of tenosynovitis in key stroke operators? Is he further aware that Mr MacMillan claims that job design, with adequate rest periods, is far more important in preventing tenosynovitis than ergonomic components? Can the Minister say whether similar consideration is given to computer operators in Federal Government departments? Can he confirm the estimates of cost to industry of workers' compensation, as claimed in the article? Will he raise these issues with the Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations for reference to the proposed national commission on occupational health and safety?

Senator BUTTON —I was not aware of many of the matters about which Senator Crowley asked. I was delighted to receive the answers she gave in the course of her question because I am now more aware of the position than I was before the question was asked. Let me say that I will certainly raise these matters with the Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations. They seem to be matters which are highly appropriate for reference to the Interim National Commission on Occupational Health and Safety. I will obtain an answer from the Minister as soon as possible.