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Welcome to Scorpion’s Legal Tips! Every week we’ll share stories of injustice and show you how you can strike back legally.
The first law we look at is the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (COIDA). It’s there to help protect workers who are injured on duty or get an occupational disease. These workers can then claim compensation for temporary or permanent disablement (if it lasts longer than three days). If the worker dies as a result of an injury on duty, their dependants will also be entitled to claim compensation. Employers must register their employees for COIDA.
But it’s important to look at who qualifies as an employee in the eyes of the law. Section 1(d)(iv) of the Act says that independent contractors are excluded from COIDA: any person who “contracts for the carrying out of work and himself engages other persons to perform such work”. This means you do not work under the control of the employer where the injury took place. As an independent contractor, you are not entitled to compensation under COIDA.
So what can you do? You can bring a delictual claim against the mining company. This is a civil claim for damages against the mining company, meaning you are claiming compensation for the harm you have suffered. A delict occurs when one party commits a wrong against another – in this case, the injured person claims that his injury is the result of the mining company’s systems. Delictual claims can be complicated, and we would advise enlisting the help of a legal professional to handle cases like these.
* This is only basic advice and cannot be relied on solely.
Date added: 24 March 2020
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