There are many hidden costs associated with workers’ compensation claims that most employers do not recognise right away, such as:
– Recruiting new or temporary staff to replace the injured employee.
– Training costs for new employees.
– Loss of productivity during employee transition.
– Transfer of an employee from one department to fill in for the one who was injured.
It is projected that compensation benefits amounting to R3,2 billion would be paid by the end of 2011/12 financial year.
The Department of Labour has promised to step up the gear in its drive to ensure compliance with labour laws vowed to come up with even more stringent fines. Tibor Szana Director: Occupational Health and Safety in the department said, whilst several employers have paid admission of fines this year, upping the penalty could send an even stronger message. “The highest fine paid recently is R12 000 with other employers having being forced to fork out lesser amounts in the forestry and agricultural sectors. These resulted from more and more court cases in several provinces following blitz inspections,” he said. The department will beef-up its training of inspectors to ensure that cases do not fall within the cracks and that “we have airtight cases before going to court”. Szana said “if we come to a place and we realize there is an immediate danger to life and limb, we will shut up the operations until areas of concern have been corrected”.
Contact your local Express office to order your Occupational Health and Safety posters for workplace display.