Dinesh Divekar
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Thread Started by #Mrityunjayskt

If a company warehouse is certified by ISO & there is also ventilation but a worker died due to suffocation while shifting cement bag in warehouse also postmertem report is showing death due to suffocation but Inquiry commitee report shows there is no fault of warehouse owner. so will his dependant get compensation if yes why if no why.

27th February 2013 From India, Varanasi
Dear Mrityunjay,

There are few things to be noted here:

a) Death of worker happened while on duty

b) Death happened in the course of his work. I do not know whether it can be classified as "occupational hazard". However, it was not due to some chronic disease like heart disease etc

c) Post mortem report also shows that death happened due to suffocation and suffocation happened during the work.

Therefore, prima facie, we can infer that the death of workman is attributable to the employment. But then why your enquiry committee has given any contrary report? Did he fail in observing any safety precautions? If yes, then what was that? What kind of safety training he was given? When it was given and do you have evidence of training? What about your SOPs? Did his action was contrary to any laid down SOP?

ISO certification has nothing to do with the workman's compensation, please note.

Has workman's kith and kin approached you for the compensation? If yes, did you turn down the compensation? I recommend you keeping in the loop labour officer of your area. Have you sent the copy of the findings of enquiry report to the labour officer? Has he endorsed the findings?

All these questions are from legal point of view. From the organisation's culture point of view, I recommend you giving his dependants the legally admissible dues. If you fail to do that then perceptions of the employees towards the company will change and they will start looking down upon the management.

You may not pay the compensation provided that worker had failed to observe the safety precautions or there was evident transgression of the laid down SOP. In such case it may send a signal to one and all on how important the safety guidelines are what happens when workers do not observe them.


Dinesh V Divekar
27th February 2013 From India, Bangalore
Dear Mritunjayskt
I am surprised and shocked at the findings of the Enquiry Committee.
It shows clearly that they are biased or it is just a sham enquiry.
Denying the dependent of compensation; who lost their bread-winner of the family is not only illegal but absolutely inhuman. Such demonic companies should be penalized severely.
I hope in such a case the family brings up the matter in appropriate court.
Warm regards.
28th February 2013 From India, Delhi
There is no doubt the kith & kin of the deceased are eligible for the compensation. Enquiry committee's decision has no locus-standi in the matter as the post-mortem report is the deciding factor, it's in the course of employment.
28th February 2013 From India, Bangalore
Dear Mrityunjay,
This is in addition to what I wrote in my previous post. You have not mentioned how the accident happened. Did the cement bags fall on that worker? How many cement bags were stacked one over another? What is the area of the warehouse? How many rows and columns of bags were there? What was the breadth of aisle?
28th February 2013 From India, Bangalore
Dear members,
What enquiry committee ? Such committees are consituted by the management for the management.They did not cite the actual reason,just to appease the management or they were simply 'told' as what kind of report should be given.This can happen for two reasons.One the management does not want to pay compensation or more likely they are apprehensive of it's legal consequences such as losing license etc.However from humanitarian point of view not only compensation should be paid but also if possible a suitable job be offered to one of his dependent.
28th February 2013 From India, New Delhi
This is simple, the worker died in the course and scope of his duty or while doing his work, so his benefeciary/dependent is entitled to receive compensation. Something wrong happened that leads to his death that's for sure. If the committee claimed that the warehouse owner has no fault then keep asking why it happened. An unbiased investigation should have done to refrain the incident from happening again which should have been the goal of the management or by that committee. Receiving the compensation should no longer be a question, it is clear. If the company don't like to pay, then help the family file claim to Employee Compensation Commission or any equivalent of that which is a requirement by Labor Law.
28th February 2013 From Saudi Arabia, Jeddah

Few things must be noted,

1) the deceased had no prior health problems due to which there were chances for suffocation in such conditions...... like say aasthama/respiratory problems, or any such problems because of which body needs more air/requirements compared to a normal person ......

2) Conditions must be proved that even a normal person or any person would be subjected to such suffocation in that environment and it is not an unusual case or an exceptional case.....

3) was there any special imbalances in the environment causing the same on that particular day/ in those few previous days, but otherwise he was not under suffocation........

3 A) incase if he had suffered even before, was it brought to the attention of the management and what were the actions taken, and if no actions were taken then the amount of negligence on part of management.......

B) despite of suffocation if the victim had failed to bring it to the notice of the management!!

4) are there any previous cases of that sort, need not be death but health problems due to suffocation suffered by other workers........

If the answers for all the above issues are negative, then you will not have the absolute claims over compensation and damages....... you can claim only compensation and not damages but will be left to the discretion of the company, but what ever the compensation has been "specified under law is assured in any case"........

our condolences for the unfortunate happening...............
28th February 2013 From India, Bangalore
Absolutely the workman is eligible for compensation. Very straigtforward case. If adequate ventilation arrangements were not available it is a big lapse on the part of the employer. With due respect to the opinions expressed by my friends above, it is clear violation and criminal also if attempts are made to find faults with the late workman, to avoid payment of compensation.
28th February 2013 From India, Pune
I presume that the above case falls under EC Act 1923.If so I invite the attention of friends to Sec 3(1) (b) of the Act, which says that employer will be liable for compensation for death of employee due to injury happening during the course and arising out of employment even if the employee at the time of accident was drunken or disobeying a safety order or rule ,or removed or disregarded safety guard or devices.
Varghese Mathew
Baseindia Consultants
Trivandrum 14(9961266966)
28th February 2013 From India, Thiruvananthapuram
Death is taken place and due to suffocation. Immediately after the death of employee, the Police will file FIR and Dir. of Factories or Labour Dept. has to receive a copy of death report within 24 hours. From where this enquiry committee can give contrary report? After death, any report may not have much meaning as far as Compensation is concerned.
28th February 2013 From India, Bangalore
Very very pertinent questions !!! I think there is nothing more to be said on this !!!!
1st March 2013 From India, Delhi
Dear friend,
In many more than one case the death or injury sustained "in the course employment" was decided awarding suitable compensation by various courts. The attached few case law can be of some help to this issue.
2nd March 2013 From India, Bangalore

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File Type: doc w.c.in the course of employment.doc (53.5 KB, 45 views)

Even assuming that the employee has previous history of ailment like heart problem or asthma, it would not exonerate the employer from his liability to pay compensation for death since there is nexus between his death and his employment because of the fact that the duty of carrying cement bags or falling of cement bags etc. would have aggravated his condition leading to his death.Even if there is ventilation, it would not nullify the nexus between death and the nature of his work.
3rd March 2013 From India, Mumbai
One thing that is envisaged under RC Act is that any employee who meets with accident during the course of and arising out of his employment shall be entitled to compensation commensurate with loss of his earning capacity, including death based on the formula given undet the Act. The internally constituted committee's report had no bearing thereon. The police and/or medical reports supercedes all such reports.
Secondly, unethical dealing of such liability shall result not only in elongated litigation but also money and manhour, leave alone indirect loss of employee.morale & productivity. Ultimately the law enforcement agencies and judiciary sympathise with employee. Hence, it would be desirable to comply with EC Act and pay compensation. Anyway the company may have insurance policy which will support the employer.
3rd March 2013 From India, Mumbai
Dear Mrityunjay,
I think the the certification of the company under the ISO and the contrary report of the so-called committee giving a clean-chit to the owner of the warehouse have caused your present confusion about the admissibility of the claim for compensation by the dependents of the deceased employee.The employee died of suffocation while on duty and the cause of death mentioned in the post mortem report also confirms this.The parameters for exempting the employer from liability mentioned in the proviso to ss(1) of section 3 of the Employees Compensation Act, 1923 are not applicable to fatal accident.Therefore the report of the committee may not be of any help to the employer in the matter of payment of compensation other than for mitigating his criminal liability for causing death by negligence.
28th March 2013 From India, Salem
I do not understand why this should be a question at all. Very clear case.Worker is eligible for compensation. Rightly said by Mr.Verghese M. and others.Interestng discussion
29th March 2013 From India, Coimbatore
Mr. Umakanthan.M
Additional Commissioner of Labour (RTD)
According to you;
The parameters for exempting the employer from liability mentioned in the proviso to ss(1) of section 3 of the Employees Compensation Act, 1923 are not applicable to fatal accident.
My question to you with due respect is
How do you say Fatal Accident is not covered in the Act when it is not expressed or implied in the Act? Can you enlighten on this issue since you served / were an Authority under the Act.
30th March 2013 From India, Bangalore
Thank u for your query.The proviso to ss(1) of S3 of the E.C Act,1923 enumerates the cases in which the employer is NOT liable to pay compensation in clauses (a) and (b). Clause (a) exempts the employer from liability in respect of any injury not resulting in TOTAL or PARTIAL DISABLEMENT for a period EXCEEDING 3 DAYS; Cl (b) exempts the employer from liability for compensation in respect of any other type of injury due to an accident caused because of three reasons directly attributable to the concerned workman when its resultant effect is not death or permanent total disablement.This was what I meant to say in my previous post.I never expected that it would mean the way you mentioned.Hope my reply will satisfy you!
With regards,
30th March 2013 From India, Salem
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