Author:albert-mushai

Lessons for SA from the UK – occupational diseases compensation

Lessons for SA from the UK – occupational diseases compensation 17th Aug 2020 Compensation for occupational diseases should, in general, be handled the same way as worker’s compensation. One system should exist for occupational accidents and diseases, covering all employees – irrespective of the industry in which they work Worker’s compensation itself is merely a statutory form of personal accident insurance. The compensation’s cost has taken the form of a levy based on the exposure of firms. Claims should be […]

Read more

Volenti non fit injuria

There was a time employees who were injured at work were unsuccessful if they attempted to obtain compensation by suing their employers. Dr Albert Mushai, Professor Robert Vivian and BCom Honours student Sekitla Segowa take a look at the origin of the volenti non fit injuria defence in occupational injury claims As the limited nature of common law remedies became apparent, the United Kingdom (UK) parliament attempted to improve the position of injured workers. They first tried to reform the […]

Read more

What can South Africa Learn from UK Developments?

The workplace is a complex environment in more ways than most people might think. Various factors operate synergistically or in isolation to produce undesirable outcomes. Consequently, occupational health and safety risks are invariably dynamic and evolving It is against this background that the May 2019 Health & Safety Newsletter by CMS McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP, a United Kingdom (UK) limited liability partnership, on occupational health and safety (OHS) issues in the UK provides some useful insights for South African employers. […]

Read more

Workmen’s compensation and volunteers

Are volunteer emergency responders – such as a firefighters – entitled to claim compensation if they are injured on duty? ALBERT MUSHAI and ROBERT VIVIAN examine the question Recently, Australia was confronted by widespread forest fires. Dealing with the high number of infernos outstripped the capabilities of full-time manpower and a large number of volunteers quickly rallied to the call. Not surprisingly, the question arose about what would happen if any of them were injured while fighting the flames. Would […]

Read more

Injury compensation: SA versus UK

To better understand the challenges of providing compensation to injured employees, Albert Mushai and Robert Vivian compare a compensation court case in the United Kingdom with the South African workmen’s compensation approach The recent Shelbourne case heard in the United Kingdom (UK) Court of Appeal provides an opportunity to compare, to a limited extent, the different approaches to occupational injuries between South Africa and the UK. It’s important to be careful when making comparisons based on court cases as they […]

Read more

The illegality principle and claims for damages

Albert Mushai and Robert Vivian argue that without a specific clause in an insurance contract that excludes liability of the insurer for claims under the illegality principle, chances are insurers are repudiating claims for which they are liable When one person commits a wrongful act against another causing patrimonial or other quantifiable loss, the law allows the innocent party to sue for damages. This position is universal. However, it is also true that in order for a person to approach […]

Read more

Is workmen’s compensation a social welfare phenomenon?

Dr Albert Mushai and Professor Robert W Vivian argue that workmen’s compensation probably has little to do with social welfare Workmen’s compensation is usually classified as being part of social welfare – and is treated as being part of the “welfare state”, so to speak. It is always discussed in economic literature on this basis; forming part of social welfare systems. It is usually classified as such automatically, with very little thought being given to the specific question: Is workmen’s […]

Read more

Silicosis compensation: whose problem is it?

Evidence suggests that trusts do not provide the best solutions to the problems of compensation for occupational diseases – especially when dealing with the magnitude of silicosis claims in South Africa The silicosis issue seems now to have been decided with an agreement, sanctioned by the court, to establish a trust that will pay compensation. According to press reports, the mining industry will contribute R5 billion to the trust. The sum probably excludes administrative and legal costs which are specifically […]

Read more

Product recall and liability of manufacturers in class-action lawsuits

With the Tiger Brands listeriosis outbreak still fresh in our minds and now the centre of a class-action lawsuit, it’s pertinent to study a remarkably similar event that occurred in Canada a decade earlier. In early 2018, there was an outbreak of listeriosis in South Africa involving mainly products made by Tiger Brands. The outbreak was traced to the company’s Polokwane plant. An estimated 200 people died from listeriosis and there was a large-scale recall of ready-to-eat cold-meat products across […]

Read more

Vicarious Liability and the Demise of Independent-Contractor Defence

As far as employers are concerned, the liability they incur towards third parties invariably involves the doctrine of vicarious liability. However, the nature of vicarious liability is changing – and employers should beware. The doctrine of vicarious liability holds that an employer is liable for harm or loss arising from the negligence, or other forms of wrongdoing of its employees, that occur in the course and scope of employment. Therefore, if the employer is a company, or some other type […]

Read more