Millions paid for occupational injuries

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The Social Security Commission (SSC) has over the past two years paid out over N$28.7 million for workforce accident claims in the private sector.

This is in comparison to the approximate N$1.3 million paid to the public sector over the same period.
For the private sector in 2013/14 the SSC paid N$8.8 million to 6 294 claimaints for medical expenses, while N$11.1 million was paid to 5 795 claimants in 2014/15. An amount of N$3.8 was paid to 893 claimants in 2013/14 as compensation while N$4.8 was paid as compensation to 1 045 claimants in 2014/15.

Whereas for the public sector during the 2013/14 financial year the SSC paid N$396 636 to 96 claimants for medical expenses and N$233 277 to 61 claimants in 2014/15, while for compensation it paid N$418 171 to 32 claimants in 2013/14 and N$243 216 to 24 claimants in 2014/15, amounting to approximately N$1.3 million paid out during that period.

The amounts paid to victims involved in workplace related accidents were revealed on Tuesday by the head of claims at the SCC, Jack Boois, at the commemoration of the World Day for Safety and Health held in Windhoek.
Boois said the figures should be used for the purpose of marking a change in people’s lives by lessening the injuries ascertained while on duty, adding that it is very important for employees to report accidents as it (reporting) can enable them to claim in future should their injuries or disability caused by the accident persist.

“Claims can still be reopened under the same claim number despite the fact you are no longer in the same workplace. Just the fact you were under such benefits – it can be reopened even after 10 years that is why it is very important to report an accident,” explained Boois.

Boois said such provision caters for employees that are booked off for more than three days due to the nature of an accident, reiterating that SSC further offers other benefits such as temporary disability payments where an accident victim will receive 75 percent of his salary and a permanent disability payment, which involves someone that has lost a limb and can no longer perform his/her duties. These include fatal accident benefits where the family of the deceased will receive a monthly allowance with 40 percent awarded to the spouse and 20 percent to the children.
At the same occasion the Deputy Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation, Alpheus Muheua, cautioned employees to refrain from endangering themselves that could lead to unnecessary workplace accidents and report matters to immediate supervisors.

“I encourage all workers to refrain from imminent danger to avoid accidents and loss of lives as prevention is better,” stated Muheua.

The World Day for Safety and Health is observed annually on April 28 since 1996 under the International Labour Organization (ILO) which aims to promote and realize standards and fundamental principles and rights at work, to create greater opportunities for women and men to secure decent employment and to enhance the coverage and effectiveness of social protection.

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