The growing complexity of industry with the increasing use of machinery and consequent danger to workman along with the comparative poverty of the workmen themselves rendered it advisable that they should be protected, as far as possible, from hardship arising from accidents. The basic object of workmen’s compensation Act, 1923 is to provide for the payment of certain classes of employers to their workmen of compensation for injury by accident.
2. Relevant Provisions
Following are the relevant provisions of workmen compensation Act, 1923 regarding the concerned topic
Section 3 and 4.
3. Employer’s Liability for Compensation
Following are the essentials to held employer liable under this section
i. Causing of Personal Injury
The must be some personal injury caused to the workmen. By virtue of sub-section (2) of section 3, an occupational disease shall also deem to be an injury if it specified either in Part A of schedule III or part B of Schedule III.
a. Disease Mentioned in Part A of Schedule III:
If a workman employed in any employment specified in Part A of schedule III contracts any occupational disease specified therein, the employer shall be liable.
b. Disease Mentioned in Part B of Schedule III.
If a workman employed in any employment for a continuous period of not less than six months specified in Part B of Schedule III, and the contracts any disease specified therein as an occupational disease, the employer shall be liable.
ii. To the workmen
The injury must be caused to someone who is a workman within the meaning of the Act.
iii. Injury by Accident
Injury must be result of an accident. Accident may either mean some particular occurrence happening at some particular time or it may even mean the cumulative effect of series of accidents met by an employee in his work.
iv. Arising out of employment
The accident must arise out of the employment, which is to say, the employment must be distinctive and the approximate cause of the injury.
Expression arising out of employment applies to employment as such to its nature, it conditions, its obligations and its incidents. A worker by reason of same if brought within zone of special danger and so injured or killed the broad words “arising out of the employment would apply.
v. In the course of employment
The accident must take place in the course of employment. It refers to the time and the injury must occur during the subsistence of employment.
4. Employer’s exemption from liability
Employer shall not be liable to pay compensation to the workman in following cases.
a. Injury not exceeding four days period
Where the injury caused to the workman does not result in the total or partial disablement for a period exceeding four days.
b. Injury not resulted death and is attributed to workman
Where the injury is not resulting in death and is directly attributed to workmen under following situations,
i. Under Influence of Drugs etc
If the workman suffers from an injury at the time where the was under the influence of drink or drugs the employer is not liable.
ii. Willful Disobedience
Where the workmen suffers from an injury by the willful disobedience of an order or rule, which in for the purpose of securing the safety of workmen, the employer is not liable. The disobedience must be willful, that is deliberate and intended.
iii. Willful removal of safety devices
where the workman suffers from an injury by the willful removal or disregard of any safety guard or other device which he knew to have been provided for the purpose of securing the safety of workmen.
5. Remedies available to the workman
An injured workman has tow alternative remedies
i. Filling of civil Suit
The workman may sue his employer for damages in an ordinary civil court in which case he forfeits his rights under the workmen’s compensation Act, 1923.
ii. Proceed under workmen’s compensation act
The workmen may proceed under the workmen’s compensation Act, and institute a claim to compensation in respect of the injury before a commissioner.
6. Amount of compensation
a. Where death Results
Where death results from the injury to a workman in receipt of monthly wages falling with the limits shown in the first column of schedule IV, which is not more than Rs. 3000, and the amount shown against such limits in the second column which is Rs. 200,000/-.
b. Where permanent Total Disablement Result
Where permanent total disablement results from injury to a workman in receipt of monthly wages falling, within the limits shown in the first column of schedule IV, which is not more than Rs. 3000 and the amount shown against such limit in the third column thereof which is Rs. 2,00,000.
i. Meaning of Permanent Total Disablement
When a workman is incapacitated permanently from doing all work which he was capable of performing at the time of accident such disablement is called permanent total disablement and it also includes total loss of the sight of both eyes or it may result from any combination of injuries specified in Schedule I where the aggregate percentage as specified therein amounts to 100% permanent.
c. Where permanent partial Disablement Result
Permanent partial disablement means disablement as reduces the earning capacity in every employment which he was capable of performing at the time of accident and every injury specified in schedule I.
i. Injury specified in Schedule I.
Where permanent partial disablement results from the injury specified in schedule I such as loss or thumb, such percentage of the compensation which would have been payable in the case of permanent total disablement as it specified therein as being the percentage of the loss of earning capacity caused by the injury.
ii. Injury not specified in Schedule I
Where permanent partial disablement results from the injury not specified in schedule I, such percentage of the compensation, payable in the case of permanent total disablement, as is proportionate to the loss of earning capacity permanently caused by that injury under this clause, it is open to the commissioner to independently estimate the loss of the earning capacity of a workman for determining the compensation. Which would be comparably proportionate to the standard laid down in case of permanent total disablement which is Rs. 200,000.
iv. Where Temporary Disablement Result
Where temporary disablement total or partial results from the injury the workman in receipt of monthly wages falling within the limits shown in the first column of schedule IV which is not more than Rs. 3000, shall be entitled to half-monthly payment of the sum shown in the fourth column payable on the sixteenth day after the expiry of four days waiting half-monthly payment during the disablement or to a period of five years, whichever is shorter.
To conclude, I can say that, the general principle of section 3 and 4 is to protect workers from fatal accidents and make employers liable for endangering the lives of workers. The commissioner is a competent authority to deterring the compensation to be awarded to the workman in accordance with the provisions of the act.