Coping with COID
Coping with COID
There are some jobs that are naturally more dangerous than others. But whether you’re a construction worker or an accountant, there are hazards that can pose a threat to employee safety in any workplace.
Thousands of workers in South Africa are injured on the job each year. While some injuries are minor, others are more severe. Many result in employees taking time off work and most require a level of administration and support from the employer.
“Companies count the cost of occupational injuries through lost productivity and business interruption. But they may not realise how time-consuming individual case management can be, or the challenges of administrative follow-ups with authorities and the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act,” says Rikus Scheepers, managing director at Accisure, a unique South African offering that enables businesses to guarantee private medical care to workers, should they be injured at work or while commuting.
The Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases (COID) Act was established to compensate employees or their families, where injury, disease, or death occurs on company time. All businesses in South Africa are legally required to register with the Act.
It is the responsibility of each business owner to ensure that their company is registered and compliant, in order to make a claim for an injured employee. In addition, they need in-depth knowledge of the COID Act and must understand the logistical processes, legal requirements, and necessary procedures to follow in the event of a workplace incident.
Even when a business has been responsible and has registered new employees with COID, if done incorrectly it can lead to non-compliance. Not only does this result in employees not being covered when a workplace incident occurs, but the business will also not be eligible for a Letter of Good Standing, which can impact their ability to apply for contracts or tenders.
“Non-compliance is one issue but even if all COID obligations are met, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the legalities, the various roles and responsibilities, and the burden of correctly completing and submitting all required forms within the correct timeframe after a workplace incident. On top of that, the well-being of the injured employee should still remain a priority,” explains Scheepers.
While being COID compliant and reducing workplace injuries ought to be at the top of an employer’s priorities, by their very nature, accidents will continue to happen. This is why it’s key to plan ahead and to implement an effective workplace injury management service.
Through workplace injury management, all incidents are handled on behalf of the company. This includes time-consuming legal and administrative requirements, in addition to full logistical case management for the injured worker. Not only does this minimise business interruption, but the individual support for injured staff members enables them to recover faster and return to work sooner.
“For the well-being of staff members and for the continuity of business operations, it’s key that employers meet their COID obligations and implement injury management to ensure that workers receive the best medical care possible when they need it most,” emphasises Scheepers.