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National Tertiary Education Union

Claiming Procedure for Injuries on Duty  

(Tinus Boshoff)

The Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act, Act 130 of 1993, is the governing Act that deals with occupational injuries and diseases.
 
STEP 1 - Whenever an employee is involved in an accident arising out of and in the course of employment which results in a personal injury for which medical treatment is required, the employee must give written/verbal notice of the injury at work to the employer before the completion of the shift.  In the case of NMMU, the employee must go to the campus’s health clinic and report the accident. 

STEP 2 - The employer will submit the required forms to the Compensation Commissioner within a period of 7 days.  You will receive a copy of the report and be requested to hand it to the doctor/hospital concerned. In serious cases, this should be handed to the emergency services personnel who have responded to the emergency.

STEP 3 - 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. The doctor should complete the applicable form, stating how serious the injury was and how long the employee is likely to be off work. This is sent to the employer who sends it to the Commissioner with a certified copy of the employee’s ID. 

STEP 4 - The Compensation Commissioners office will provide a claim number (reference number) to the employee.  This number should be used for all paperwork relating to a claim. When the first doctor's report has been submitted with the accident report, the Compensation Commissioner will consider the claim and make a decision.  After the Compensation Commissioner has considered the claim, a decision will be made as to whether he accepts liability for payment of the claim.    If the Commissioner does not accept liability for any payment, the worker can appeal the decision within 90 days by submitting the applicable form to the Commissioner.

STEP 5 - If the injury continues for a long time (prolonged absence), the medical practitioner must send a Progress Medical Report to the Commissioner. The progress report should be submitted on a monthly basis until the condition is fully stabilised. This informs the Commissioner of how long the employee is off work.

STEP 6 - Once the medical practitioner handling the case is satisfied that the employee is fit for duty, the practitioner will issue a Final Medical Report which must be sent to the Compensation Commissioner as well as the campus clinic.   In this report the doctor states either that the worker is fit to go back to work or that the worker is permanently disabled.

STEP 7 - When the employee resumes work, he/she should report to the clinic or inform the sister at the clinic about their return to work a Resumption Report 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.

IMPORTANT NOTES:

  • Employers are not responsible for the payment of medical cost;
  • Should an employee request a second doctor's opinion, he/she will be responsible for the payment of medical cost for the second opinion;
  • The worker and the employer should keep copies of all the forms.