The number of active workplace death claims in Otago handled
by ACC has almost halved since 2006.
In 2006, 13 new claims resulted from accidental workplace
deaths in Otago, and payments were made on an additional 47
This year, payments had been made on 31 claims by the end of
The number of active claims has been sliding since 2006 -
when 60 active claims in Otago cost $2.24 million.
Last year, only 39 claims were active, at a cost of $1.1
ACC law specialist Hazel Armstrong said the numbers probably
reflected more people taking lump-sum compensation payments
rather than weekly payments and decreasing numbers of
historical compensation claims.
''I don't see anything sinister in it,'' she said.
When the corporation was founded in 1974, spouses of people
who died accidentally in the workplace could receive
compensation until they were eligible for a government
People now were entitled to receive compensation for five
years or until their youngest children turned 18.
ACC spokesman Glenn Donovan said the decline in active claims
was probably because people who lodged claims in the early
days of the scheme were now pensioners.
''I can't see any conclusions that you could draw from a fall
in active claims,'' he said.
''It's not reflecting any change in entitlements.
''The entitlements that apply in these circumstances are
Accidental deaths entitle the family to a funeral grant of
$5788.92, a one-off survivor's grant, weekly compensation and
Ms Armstrong said the entitlements were controlled by
legislation and ''there's been no changes there''.
Since 2002, people had been able to opt for lump-sum
compensation payments instead of weekly payments, which might
have resulted in fewer active claims year to year.
Statistics from WorkSafe New Zealand showed 15 people died in
the workplace in Otago from 2009-13.