All employers in the construction industry must comply. Seek help from an attorney for specific legal counsel.
Its estimated that in Uganda on average 2, cases of work related accidents are reported annually mainly in the areas of construction, factories, security and transport and commercial agriculture. This is amidst few employers providing a safe and healthy working environment for descent work.
Respondent employers also indicated that body cuts were the most common accident in the work place. This is partly due to contracting out, outsourcing and casualization of labour amidst the lack of awareness of the legal provisions under the Workers Compensation Act Cap It also cushions the employer against being sued for the injury.
This however does not preclude the employee from suing third parties whose negligence contributed to the work injury . Workers compensation provides a safety net for the injured workers.
It applies to all employment within Uganda with the exception of active members of the armed forces of Uganda. The Act defines a worker as i any person who performs services in exchange for remuneration, other than a person who performs services as an independent contractor; or  ii an apprentice who is engaged primarily for the purpose of receiving training in a trade or profession.
The employer is not liable in respect of an injury which does not either— result in permanent incapacity; or incapacitate the worker for at least three consecutive days from earning full wages at the work at which he or she was employed.
However the employee who suffers injury by accident arising while traveling to or from his or her place of work has the onus to show that such travel was directly related to work It should be noted that compensation is payable whether or not the incapacity or death of the worker was due to the recklessness or negligence of the worker or otherwise.
Further any accident arising in the course of employment is presumed to arise out of employment unless the contrary is proved. Where the employer fails to comply with subsection 1 or 2 without reasonable cause, commits an offense and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding ten currency points.
An employer who contravenes this section commits an offence and is liable— a on a first conviction to a fine not exceeding ten currency points; b on a second conviction to a fine not exceeding twenty currency points; and c on a third and subsequent convictions, to a fine not exceeding one hundred and fifty currency points or imprisonment not exceeding twelve months or both.
In order to minimise risk the employer is required to insure their workers against risks such as injury while in the course of employment. The purpose of this insurance is not to transfer the liability to compensate the worker to the insurer but rather to protect the employer from the risk.
In the event that the employer is deemed liable under the law but their insurer declines to cover the liability, the employer is still liable to pay the attendant compensation.
Emerging trends and workers compensation A good number of workers are categorised as casual labourers or as sub-contractors. Employers have adopted strategies of outsourcing to human resource firms and subcontracting out services such as call centre and pay roll management.
Casualisation of labour has led to many workers to work in the same workplace for a long period. Since they are casual, they lack documentation to support their claim of employment and in most cases even where they sign contracts since they are categorised as casual the contract expressly provides for non-liability by the employers but also that they are not entitled to any benefits from the company they work for on a casual basis.
In some sectors such as small scale welding casual workers come to work with their own tools of trade, and work is paid per product completed, for example, after completion of a window, the worker will be paid for that specific work.
Is it the contracting party or the immediate employer? In such instances if they are a subcontractor the employers are expected to meet the compensation in the event of an accident. The liability of the employers also extends to the employer who last employed the worker during the period of twenty-four months under section 27 1 b is liable to pay the compensation unless that employer proves that the disease was not contracted while the worker was in his employment.
It requires employers to insurer their workers against such risks. A good number of employers still do not cushion themselves against such risks due to lack of awareness of the law. Some employers also adopt strategies of outsourcing firms and subcontracting out services and casualization of labour.
However, these strategies do not remove the liability of the employers for injuries suffered by any workers in the course of their employment under Ugandan law.Analysis of the California Workers' Compensation system with perspectives on the legal aspects, medical aspects, and the roles played by various professionals and institutions.
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