Understanding the process
Accidents which occur due to work or while working, wherever they happen, are considered to be accidents at work and are handled in accordance with the
Act no. 636 of 11 January 1958 amending and codifying the legislation on reporting, compensation and insurance in connection with accidents at work.
Accidents which happen on the journey between home and work are also considered to be accidents at work.
The risk of accidents at work and occupational illness is managed by accredited private insurance companies, with whom employers are required to take out insurance. This is a legal obligation.
When an accident happens at work, the employer must inform their insurer then send an accident at work report to the Police Department. The employer’s insurance will then cover the cost of treatment and compensation for any absences from work in connection with the accident.
In the event of an accident at work, the employee involved must inform or ask someone to inform his or her employer as soon as possible.
If his or her condition is assessed by a doctor, the doctor’s certificate should describe the injuries and their location, symptoms and any aftereffects caused by the accident. The doctor will also recommend an absence from work if necessary.
The certificate must be submitted to the employer.
The employer must inform their insurance company as soon as possible and no later than 48 hours after the accident.
The insurer will send the employer the accident at work report form as well as a list of documents to be submitted. This list may differ from one insurer to another.
All sections must be completed in full and as accurately as possible.
Location of accident: the exact address of the location where the accident occurred must be provided.
Nature and location of injuries: These two sections must be completed in accordance with the doctor’s certificate.
Witnesses: The name and address of the witness or witnesses must be provided.
Likely outcome: The original absence from work must be indicated without including any extensions.
All copies of the form must be signed and stamped with the company’s seal.
The accident at work report accompanied, if relevant, by the doctor’s certificate (noting the treatment provided and any absence from work required) must be sent or handed in to the Police Department within a maximum of 48 hours after the accident.
Each of the five copies of the report is stamped by the Police Department.
Within 8–15 days, the Police Department sends:
- One copy to the Courthouse
- Two to the Department of Employment
- Two to the employer (if the report is submitted in person, the copies will be returned immediately)
Photocopies of the stabilisation, recovery and return-to-work certificates or, if appropriate, the certificates extending the absence from work, must be sent to the Police Department.
In the event of a relapse, a new accident at work report must be submitted in five copies, giving the date of the original accident and the date of the relapse.
The green copy of the report must be sent to the employer’s insurer, together with the documents required by the insurer.
A certificate supplied by the insurer and completed by the employer must be issued to the victim of the accident at work to allow them to claim their medical expenses.