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FRUITCO LTD (FC) 

Mr Thom is a machine operator employed by Fruitco Ltd, a fruit-packing factory that exports fruit to America. He was seriously injured while performing his duties and was rushed to hospital without reporting the accident. Fruitco's management investigated the nature of the accident and found that Mr Thom had not been wearing his protective clothing despite having been advised to do so regularly. The doctor's report indicated that Mr Thom would be unfit to work for three months.

  1. Name the Act that is applicable to Mr Thom's accident at work.
  2. Discuss the impact of the Act referred to in QUESTION 1 on businesses (employers and employees).
  3. Mr Thom's claim for injuries justifiable? Quote TWO reasons from the scenario to motivate your answer.

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1. The name of the Act that is applicable to Mr Thom's is COIDA:
Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act, 1993 (Act 130 of 1993)/Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Amendment  Act, 1997 (Act 61 of 1997).

2.  Impact of COIDA on businesses (employers and employees)

Positives

  • Promotes safety in the workplace.
  • Creates a framework for acceptable employment practices/safety regulations.
  • Supply administrative guidelines/mechanisms for dealing with/ processing claims.
  • Eliminates time and costs spent on lengthy civil court proceedings.
  • Covers all employees at the workplace if both parties meet all the necessary safety provisions in the Act.
  • Employees are compensated financially for any injury/disability resulting from performing their duties at their workplace.
  • In the event of the death of an employee as a result of a work-related accident/disease, his/her dependant(s) will receive financial support.
  • Employers are protected from financial burden should an accident occur in the workplace provided that the employer was not negligent.
  • Employees do not have to contribute towards this fund.
  • The employees receive medical assistance provided there is no other party. 
  •  Any compensation to an employee/the family is exempt from income tax.
  • The processes are relatively simple.
  • Makes businesses more socially responsible as they cannot just employ workers at random in dangerous working conditions.
  • Workers are treated with dignity and respect as businesses view them as valuable assets and not just as workers.

The Negatives.

  • Claiming processes/procedures can be time-consuming.
  • Processes/Procedures required by this Act may be costly as paperwork places an extra administrative burden on businesses.
  • Employers have to register all their workers/make annual contributions to COIDA, which may result in cash flow problems.
  • Employers may be forced to pay heavy penalties if they are found guilty of negligence/not enforcing safety measures.
  • Workers who are temporarily/permanently employed in foreign countries are not covered.
  • Domestic/Military workers are not covered. 

 3. No
Reason: Mr Thom did not report the accident. He did not wear his protective clothing despite being advised to do so regularly.           

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