The Complete beginners guide to workers compensation
What is Workmans Compensation (WCA)?
According to Wikipedia.org: “Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance providing wage replacement and medical benefits to employees injured in the course of employment in exchange for mandatory relinquishment of the employee’s right to sue their employer for the tort of negligence.”
What is the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (COIDA)?
According to Labour.gov.za: “To provide for compensation for disablement caused by occupational injuries or diseases sustained or contracted by employees in the course of their employment, or for death resulting from such injuries or diseases; and to provide for matters connected therewith.”
One would ask then, what is the difference between The Workmans Compensation Act and the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act? If I get injured whilst on duty where would my claim be submitted then? At the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (COIDA) or at Workmans Compensation (WCA)?
It is all one and the same thing.
The Workmans Compensation Fund was still operating under this title until 1992 where this act regulated and determined if, when, how and to whom the fund will compensate after any employee got injured on duty. In 1993 a new act was drafted, the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (COIDA), as the South African government thought it was a good opportunity to “modernise” the act to suit the rest of the South African Labour legislation.
The old Workmans Compensation Act used the term “workman” where the labour law refers to “employee”. This is a more politically correct term to be used. Although COIDA has been operating since 1993, one will still hear about the Workmans Compensation Act or WCA often.
The term ‘workmans compensation’ is recognised world wide. In prominent countries like USA, Canada, Australia and also the International Labour Organisation (ILO) it is the appropriate term to be used.
Who can claim from Workmans Compensation?
The following people can claim if they get injured whilst on duty or get ill because of work related diseases that results in injury, disability, death or illness:
- All employees;
- Casual workers;
- Full-time workers.
This excludes the following:
Workers who are totally or partially disabled for less than 3 days; domestic workers; anyone receiving military training; members of the South African National Defence Force, or the South African Police Service; any worker guilty of willful misconduct, unless they are seriously disabled or killed; anyone employed outside the RSA for 12 or more continuous months; and workers working mainly outside the RSA and only temporarily employed in the RSA.
If any employee gets injured or dies whilst on duty, a claim needs to be submitted within 12 months of the date of an accident or death to the Commissioner, employer or mutual association.
Here is a few examples of the 10 Most Common Workers Compensation Claims:
2. Slip or Trip and Falls
3. Fall to Lower Level
4. Bodily Reaction
5. Struck by Object
6. Struck Against an Object
7. Highway Incident
8. Machinery Accidents
9. Repetitive Motion
10. Workplace violence
Please click on the following link to get a better understanding of South Africa’s Workmans Compensation Act or should I say the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act: