Staff who suffer injuries at workplaces need compensation, whether or not the employer is to blame, Mr Faris Attrickie, the Manager in Charge of Technical Operations, SIC Insurance Company PLS, has said.
He said the Workmen's Compensation Act made it compulsory for employers to set aside funds to compensate any worker who may sustain an injury at the workplace.
“Every employer with employees of more than 15 must have employers’ liability cover. Insofar as the employee is in the purview of work and suffers injury or death, he or she must be appropriately compensated,” he said.
Speaking at the Ghana News Agency Industrial News Hub Dialogue at Tema, where state and non-state actors get the opportunity to address national issues, Mr Attrickie said the Public Liability Insurance compliance level in the country was low.
Given the weak compliance level by some public entities, who did not have insurance for their workers, he advocated strict compliance to the Workmen’s Compensation Insurance or Employers Liability, which was non-negotiable, to ensure the safety of workers.
Mr Attrickie said it was compulsory for employers with 15 or more employees to insure their liability, which indemnified an employer against legal liability for injuries to employees resulting from accidents occurring in the course of their employment, the cost of which were mostly severe.
He said the National Insurance Commission, which is the regulator of insurance practice in Ghana, in collaboration with the Ghana National Fire Service and the Ghana Police Service, was mandated as the task force to ensure the enforcement of the Act.
“Unfortunately, their work has not been far reaching even though some taskforce had visited a few premises without insurance and caused their closure for non-compliance, but with the coming into force of the new Act, the taskforce will be reconstituted to strictly enforce the law,” Mr Attrickie said.
He said the definition of a worker under the Act has been expanded to include “any person who receives salary or wages except an outworker, a tributary, and a family member of the employer living with the latter or where the Law prohibits as a worker.”
Besides compensation for bodily injury, there was a provision for payment of medical expenses as a result of the injury.
Any employer may also choose to insure his liability under the Act and in addition, can extend his liability to cover claims under Common Law.