Explain the Employers Liability to Pay Compensation to an Employee Under the Workmen’s Compensation Act 1923.

As per Section 3 of the Workmen’s compensation Act, an employer is liable to pay compensation according to the provisions of this Act:

  • if personal injury is caused to a workman by an accident arising out of And in the course of employment; and
  • if a workman employed in any employment contracts, any occupational disease, peculiar to that employment, specified in Parts A, B and C of
    Schedule II.

Contracting in occupational disease shall be deemed to be an injury by accident within the meaning of this section. 

For compensation to be payable by on employer to a workman, the following conditions must be fulfilled :

There must be personal injury: Generally injury implies physical or bodily injury caused by an accident. However, such personal injury will also include nervous shock or break down or mental strain. Thus, the term personal injury includes psychological and physiological injury also. In the case of Indian News vs. Mrs. Rajkumar, an electrician who had to go frequently to a heating room from a cooling plant, contracted pneumonia which resulted in his death. It was held that the death was due to personal injury.

Personal injury must be caused by an accident : The term ‘accident‘ has not been . defined by the Act but its meaning has been sufficiently explained in a number of decided cases. In the popular sense, accident has been defined as a mishap or an untoward event which is not expected or designed. What the Act intends to cover is what might be expressed as an accidental injury. ,Injury by accident includes occupational disease.

Occupational diseases: Workers employed in certain types of occupations are exposed to the risk of contracting certain diseases which are peculiar and inherent to those occupations. All such diseases are known as occupational diseases. A worker, contracting an occupational disease, is deemed to have suffered an accident arisen out of, and in the course of, employment.

The employer is also liable to pay compensation for disablement or death caused by contraction of any of the occupational diseases as mentioned in Schedule III of the Act, provided that the worker was employed by him for a continuous period of at least 6 months. Occupational diseases have been categorized in Parts A, B, and C of Schedule III of the Act, for determining the liability ,of the employer to pay compensation in case of such diseases.

The injury must be caused by an accident arising out of and in the course of employmentThe expression ‘arising out of employment suggests some causal connection between the employment and the accidental injury. The expression in the course of employment suggests the period of employment and the place of work. In other words, the workman, at the time of the accident must have been employed in the performance of his duties and the accident must have taken place at or about the place where he was performing his duties

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