According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) 100 million workers are injured each year in occupational accidents. For this reason, employers worldwide need to make sure that they protect employers from any injuries that may occur in the workplace.
What is Workers’ compensation insurance?
In simple terms, this is insurance that covers medical and rehabilitation costs and lost wages for employees injured at work.
It can also be described as 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 employer’s right to sue his or her employer for negligence. So as an employee you are assured that your employer will take care of any medical bills you may have due to injury in the workplace. You will also be financially compensated so that you are able to cover any of your bills while you are recovering from your injury.
Modern laws provide comprehensive specific benefits to workers who suffer workplace injury or illness.
In South Africa, government has set up a special fund to compensate employees for injuries or diseases resulting from work. All employers must register with the Compensation Fund so their workers can claim in the event of a workplace injury.
The Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act applies to:
- All employers
- Casual and Full-time workers, who as a result of a workplace accident or work-related disease are injured, disabled or killed or become ill.
There are two types of Workers’ compensation insurance:
Private: Insurance companies are contracted by employers and workman’s compensation under the free market principle.
Public: This type makes use of workmans’ compensation under a state monopoly or fund.
In South Africa, the public model is used. The fund provides compensation for Temporary Disability, Permanent Disability, Death, medical expenses and any additional expenses.