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A Guide to Workplace Safety and Compensation Benefits

Experienced an incident or contracted a disease while on the job? 

In accordance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993, which is designed to safeguard the health and safety of individuals both at work and in connection with the use of plant and machinery. It aims to extend protection to individuals beyond the workforce, shielding them from hazards to health and safety arising from the activities of those engaged in work. 

Occupational Diseases: 

Occupational diseases can be a consequence of exposure to specific substances or conditions in the workplace. The Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act, Schedule 3, outlines the covered working conditions and related diseases. 

Injuries: 

Compensable injuries under the Compensation Act are those occurring as a result of or at work, encompassing both temporary and permanent disabilities affecting earnings. 

What are the compensation benefits that an employee can claim?

Temporary Disability: Compensation for the period you are unable to work due to the injury.

Permanent Disability: Compensation for lasting impairments affecting your ability to earn.

Death Benefits: Providing financial support to the family in case of a work-related fatality.

Medical Expenses and Additional Compensation: Covering the costs of medical treatments and additional compensation as deemed necessary.

What is my employer’s duty?

Section 8 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993, outlines the general duties of employers towards their employees. The employer is obligated to provide and maintain a working environment that is safe and free from risks to the health of employees. Key responsibilities include the provision and maintenance of safe systems of work, plant, and machinery, as well as taking steps to eliminate or mitigate hazards before resorting to personal protective equipment. Employers must establish and communicate precautionary measures, provide necessary information, instructions, training, and supervision for employee health and safety. 

Through the enforcement of health and safety measures, the Act aims to foster a workplace culture where employees are informed, trained, and supervised in a manner that minimises risks and promotes a collective commitment to a secure working environment. 

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