Occupational Disease! Is this the End?

Have contracted an occupational disease while in an employment – Can I be compensated?

Compensation to employees who also contracted diseases is conferred in section 65(1)(a-b) as well as section 66 of the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act No. 130 of 1993.

What does the Act provide?

In terms of section 65 “Compensation for occupational diseases”:

1. Subject to the provisions of this Chapter, an employee shall be entitled to the compensation provided for and prescribed in this Act if it is proved to the satisfaction of the Director-General –

a) that the employee has contracted a disease mentioned in the first column of the Schedule 3 and that such disease has risen out of and in the course of his or her employment; or

b) that the employee has contracted a disease other than a disease contemplated in paragraph (a) and that such disease has arisen out of and in the course of his or her employment

The Act goes further on section 66 titled Presumption regarding cause of occupational disease provides that; “If an employee who has contracted an occupational disease was employed in any work mentioned in Schedule 3 in respect of that disease, it shall be presumed, unless the contrary is proved, that such disease arose out of and in the course of his/her employment”.

The statistics proved that, most of employees, they contract a disease whilst working for a particular employer, and end up not receiving a compensation because of the fact that, they have to prove that they fell ill due to the nature of work they are assigned to do. The Act provides benefits for those workers who suffered as a result of illness. Some of employees/members they ended up resigning from their employment as a result of occupational disease/work illness. The schedule 3 will be attached for ease reference.

In a nutshell: The place of work should be perceived as a safety place wherein every worker can enjoy to stay and as such Compensation for Occupational, Injuries and Diseases Act provides protection.

If you are not sure what to do, facing the above challenge, MISA is just a phone call away as it prides itself with rendering a good service to its member.

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