Occupational Health and Safety


Solidarity Legal Services Occupational Health and Safety division:

The aim of the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Division is to protect the rights and interests of members of Solidarity to ensure a safe and healthy workplace. The division also handles cases relating to injuries on duty. This is one of the most important links in Solidarity’s chain of fundamental values which include the comprehensive protection of our members.

Due to the industrial and dangerous nature of the industries in which members of Solidarity are employed, protecting our members in the workplace before as well as after injuries on duty is of utmost importance.

The most important function of the OHS division is first of all to prevent occupational injuries and diseases. The second function includes protecting the employee against and decreasing the negative effect of injuries on duty and occupational diseases which may follow as a result. The latter function is usually handled by the injuries on duty (IOD) office of the OHS division.

The Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act, No 130 of 1993, makes provision for compensation of occupational disability caused by injuries on duty or occupational diseases contracted by employees while executing their duties; death resulting from such injuries or diseases; and making provision for matters relating to occupational injuries and diseases.

Who is an employee?

An employee is any person who has entered into a contract with an employer. The contract can be in writing, implied or explicit and is applicable to both temporary and permanent employees.

Who is an employer?
An employer is any person who employs someone (including the public service).

  • Contact Solidarity Legal Services Occupation Health and Safety Division at 012 644 4343.
  • Report your case to Solidarity Legal Services.
  • Download the mandate.

Occupational injuries:

 

What is an accident?

An accident is any incident of which the time, date and place can be determined and which occurred “as a result of, or, during an employee’s service and which resulted in a personal injury, illness or death of the employee”.

Which accidents should be reported?

All accidents or alleged accidents which resulted in medical expenses or absence of more than three days must be reported within seven days to the Compensation Commissioner.

Failure to report the accident is a criminal offence and the Compensation Commissioner can penalise an employer by holding him responsible for the full medical cost.

What procedure should the employer follow when reporting an accident?

 

1.   Complete Part A of the WCL2 form: “Employer’s report of an accident”, date and sign it.

2.   Tear off Part B and immediately send it to the relevant doctor or hospital.

3.   Complete Part A in full .

4.   Send the completed WCL2  (both pages), along with the First Medical Report (WCL4) and a certified copy of the injured worker’s ID document, without delay, to:

The Compensation Commissioner
PO Box 955
PRETORIA
0001

When is the claim number assigned?

Once the Compensation Commissioner has received both documents mentioned above, the claim will be considered, and the allocated claim number will be sent to the employer by post.

When is the claim finalised?

In terms of the Act the claim is finalised as soon as the treating physician issues a Final Medical Report which indicates that the condition of the employee has stabilised, alternatively 24 months after the date of the accident.

What about additional documentation?
Monthly progress reports (WCL5) must be submitted to the Compensation Commissioner. Once an employee’s condition is stabilised and treatment is concluded, the Final Medical Report (WCL5) must also be submitted.

Will I receive my salary?
It is the employer’s responsibility to compensate the employee for temporary total occupational disability for the first three months following the date of the accident.

Temporary total occupational disability is calculated at 75% of the employee’s salary at the time of the accident, and is subject to minimum and maximum amounts as published in the Government Gazette. The Compensation Commissioner will reimburse the employer for these payments.

After three months, it is the employer’s decision whether to continue paying the salary. If the employer decides not to continue payment, temporary total disability may be claimed from the Compensation Commissioner by submitting forms WCL132 (Sworn Statement), WCL5 (Progress Report) and WCL6 (Resumption Report[S3] ). Payment for temporary total disability is not subject to taxation.

Can the claim be reopened?

If further medical treatment is required, the employee may request the claim to be reopened. The Compensation Commissioner will decide whether accountability for further benefits will be accepted in terms of the Act. The prescribed form “Reopening of a claim” need to be completed and submitted by the treating doctor. The employee is responsible for payment of the first consultation as well as diagnostic procedures.

 

Forms for occupational injuries:

 

 


Occupational diseases:

 

What is an occupational disease?

An occupational disease is any disease which originates from or is contracted in the course of the employee’s duties, and which is contained in Schedule 3 of the Act.

How should it be reported?
The employer must be notified in writing of the diagnosis of the occupational disease. The employer must report it within 14 days on the prescribed form WCL1 to the Compensation Commissioner. The date of the diagnosis will be regarded as the date of onset of the occupational disease.

What documentation will be required?

The WCL1 Employer’s Report, WCL22 First Medical Report (Occupational Diseases) and a certified copy of the patient’s identity document must always accompany the relevant medical reports, e.g.

Industrial noise deafness:

Two diagnostic audiograms

The OD2 form registering the exposure

Hearing apparatus:

Three quotations from different suppliers

One motivation

Dermatitis:

Final Medical Report

WCL53 dermatological report

Occupational asthma:

Lung function test

Final Medical Report

Asbestosis, silicosis en pneumoconiosis:

Exposure history WCL110

Lung function test

X-rays

Final Medical Report


Forms for Occupational diseases: