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- Featured article by LAWYERS-ONLINE.CO.ZA

Compensation for Occupational injuries and Diseases Act

Through the prescriptions of the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (Act 130 of 1993), a process was implemented by government which provides for the payment of compensation.

The aim of the COID Act is to provide for comp ensation in the case of disablement caused by occupational injuries and diseases, sustained or contracted by employees in the course of their employment, or death resulting from such injuries and diseases; and to provide for matters connected therewith.

The COIDA was amended in 1997, Act No 61 of 1997. Unlike the old Workmen's Compensation Act, COIDA covers most employees, not only those who earn less than a certain amount.

A Compensation Fund claim cannot be made if the employee is a domestic worker employ ed at a private home; a member of the South African National Defence Force (there is a separate compensation fund for these claims); a member of the South African Police Services (there is a separate compensation fund for these claims); a contractor who do es not work under the control of the employer where the injury happened. (i.e. an independent contractor); or a worker who works outside South Africa for more than 12 months at a time.

A Compensation Fund Claim can be made if the employee is a domestic worker in a boarding house; an apprentice or trainee farm worker; or a worker paid by a labour agency.

Compensation Fund Claims will only be paid if the COIDA claim is made within 12 months after the accident or death, or after the disease is diagnosed; the employee is off work for more than three (3) days; or the accident is not a result of the employee’s wrong doing (If the worker is seriously disabled or dies in the accident, the Fund will then pay compensation).

Compensation Fund Claims will not be paid if the employee re fuses to have medical treatment; or the accident is a result of the employee’s wrong doing Workmans comp ensation is paid by employers. Employers complete an annual return advising of the number of employees and the total wage bill for the year. This is the Return of Earnings Form.

There is a percentage that is applied to various industries, the higher the risk – the higher the percentage paid. Employees do not pay towards Workmans Comp ensation Fund.

COIDA covers occupational diseases and workplace injuries. Employers must ensure that they have health and safety regulations in place. Employees must be made aware of the health and safety regulations.

Occupational diseases are illnesses caused by substances or conditions that the employee is exposed to at the workplace. Workmans Compensation can be claimed if the employee is exposed to these working conditions and then contracts a related disease.

The injuries and diseases caused by these conditions are covered by COIDA and are set out in Schedule 3 of the Act. An employee can claim for other diseases. They will need to prove, using medical evidence and reports that the disease was caused by conditions at work. The COIDA also covers injuries that were sustained as a res ult of work or at the workplace.

Date: 4th February 2014
Legislation: Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act, 130 of 1993

COIDA - Legal Information South Africa