Workers understanding their rights on work related injuries and diseases

Many workers do not know their rights on injuries sustained at work or employment related diseases

Workers understanding their rights on work related injuries and diseases

Many workers do not know their rights on injuries sustained at work or employment  related diseases, hence this leads to most of them not being compensated for the money they use to seek medical attention and also some end up being terminated unfairly. 

According to ILO Social Security (Minimum Standards) Convention, 1952 (No. 102), the contingencies covered under the employment injury benefit include the following accident-at-work or employment-related diseases:

  • sickness,
  • temporary incapacity for work resulting from such a condition,
  • total or partial loss of earning capacity, likely to be permanent, and
  • The loss of support suffered by dependents as the result of the death of the breadwinner.

The range of benefits required by Convention No. 102 includes 

  • necessary medical care,
  • sickness benefit for the period of incapacity for work,
  • disability pension in case of loss of earning capacity, and
  • Survivors' pension in case of death of a breadwinner.

However, those benefits are only one, if the most visible, of the facets of employment injury protection.

In Kenya: The Work Injury Benefits Act, No. 15 of 2007, provides for compensation to employees for work related injuries and diseases contracted in the course of their employment and for connected purposes.

Under the right to compensation (Part III) of Work Injury Benefits Act, an employee who is involved in an accident resulting in the employee's disablement subject to the provisions of this Act is entitled to the benefits provided for under this Act. The liability falls squarely on the employer. To deal with such liabilities an employer is obligated to obtain and maintain an insurance policy, with an insurer approved by the Minister in respect of any liability that the employer may incur under this Act to any of his employees (section 7).

These laws have been put in place to address the key challenges at work places. It is the responsibility of employers to ensure they provide occupational safety and health of their workers at the work place. 

In case of work related accident or disease the employer is mandated with ensuring fair, equitable, and effective compensation of workers and access to necessary health care (covering medical and allied care services and goods, including rehabilitation). In the event of death, this responsibility extends to providing compensation to workers' survivors to cover the loss of income suffered as a consequence of an accident or occupational 

A very low percentage of workers are aware of the above laws on the work Injury benefit Act. Hence so many accidents go unreported. The government needs to step up and educate workers on their rights and procedures that they need to undertake when they get in a work related accident or contract diseases. Hence this will make employers more liable for their employees and provide more conducive working environment. 

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