Accidents at the work place can happen; therefore company personnel who assist employees involved in accidents should be familiar with Injury on Duty (IOD)and the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (COIDA) payment claims processes.
“The aim of the COIDA is to provide for compensation in the case of disablement caused by occupational injuries or diseases, sustained or contracted by employees in the course of their employment, or death resulting from such injuries or disease; and to provide for matters connected therewith.” (www.labourguide.co.za)
Any person who employs one or more workers must register with the Compensation Fund and pay annual assessment fees.
Employers are obligated to report all alleged accidents to the Compensation Commissioner, even if they don’t believe the employees report. Good practice on the employers’ side should include the keeping of partially completed W.Cl 2 forms as well as certified copies of all employees’ identity documents.
Employees are not responsible for the payment of medical costs. If an employee requests a second doctor’s opinion, he/she will be responsible for the payment of medical cost for the second opinion.
- Claims for employees in the mining and building industries must be referred to the relevant mutual associations.
- Claims by employees working for individually liable employers (the state, parliament, the provincial authorities and local authorities which have been exempt from making payments to the compensation fund) must be referred to the employer.
W.Cl 2 – Notice of Accident and Claim for Compensation
WCL3 – Employers Report of Accident
W.Cl 4 form – To be completed by the doctor
W.Cl.55 form – Only used by the Commissioner when liability is accepted for payment of the claim. Where a W.Cl.56 is not issued.
W.Cl.5 – Progress Medical Report to the Commissioner
W.Cl 6 – Used by COIDA when liability is accepted by the Commissioner
Procedure to follow when an employee is involved in an accident at work:
Step 1 – W.Cl 2 W,CL3 and W.Cl 4 form:
- Report the accident on the W,CL3 form – An accident must be reported when an employee meets with an accident arising out of and in the course of employment resulting in a personal injury for which medical treatment is required.
- Notify the employer – Written or verbal notice of an injury at work is to be given to the employer before the completion of the shift. Good practice on the side of the employer will be to make a list of all witnesses of the accident for the investigation of the incident.
- Complete the W.Cl 2 form – Notice of Accident and Claim for Compensation.
It is the employer’s duty to submit the W.Cl 2 within a period of 7 days to the Compensation Commissioner (or within 14 days of finding out the worker has an occupational disease)
Guidelines relating to the completion of the form:
- ”Part A” page 1 of the form – provide full details, sign and date form where indicated.
- Detach ”Part B” (an automatic copy of ”Part A”, page 1) by tearing it at the perforation.
- Hand “Part B” to the employee and request him/her to hand it to the doctor/hospital concerned.
- In serious cases, “Part B” must be handed to the emergency services personnel who have responded to the emergency.
- Medical examination – The employee making the claim must submit to a medical examination at a reasonable time and place nominated by the commissioner or mutual association concerned, or by arrangement if the employee cannot go to the office of the nominated medical practitioner.
- Complete ”Part A”, page 2 of the form by providing the full details.
- Make a certified copy of Employee’s ID.
The first medical report (W.Cl 4) – The doctor must complete this form stating how serious the injury was and how long the employee is likely to be off work. The doctor sends the completed form to the employer. The employer sends the form with a certified copy of the employees ID and the first medical report (W.Cl 4) (if available) to the Compensation Commissioner
- Employer must receive the (W.Cl.55 postcard) from the COIDA office.This happens after Compensation Commissioner receives and registers the claim. Use the W.Cl.55 reference for all communication relating the claim.
- W.Cl.56 form will only be used by COIDA when liability is accepted by the commissioner. When not issued, it indicates the Compensation Commissioner has not accepted liability for any payment.
- Appeal – If the worker disagrees with the decision, they can appeal the decision within 90 days by submitting form W929 to the Commissioner.
Progress report (W.Cl 5) – If the injury continues for a long time, a progress report must be submitted on a monthly basis until the condition is fully stabilised.
Final Medical Report (W.Cl 5) – Once the medical practitioner handling the case is satisfied that the employee is fit for duty, the practitioner will issue a Final Medical Report (W.Cl 5),
In this report the doctor states either that the worker is fit to go back to work or that the worker is permanently disabled. The practitioner must send this form to the employer who then sends it to the Commissioner. The Progress Report and Final Medical Report make use of the same form (W.Cl 5).
Resumption Report (W.Cl 6) – When the employee resumes work, a Resumption Report (W.Cl 6) must be completed and submitted to the Commissioner.
Only after every one of these forms has been submitted will the Compensation Commissioner make all of the payments and close the case. The worker and the employer should keep copies of all the forms.