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A relative of me was working for a company. They have a camp somewhere and he died due to cardiac arrest in the camp itself. His senior wasn't allowing him to go on leave since last couple of months. 4-5 days before his death, he said to his family that "company is giving too much tension". I want to ask few things.
1. Would they be able to get compensation on ground of negligence and death at work site?
2. Company didn't send any person with the dead body, is it their responsibility to ensure the proper care and safe reaching of the body to his family?
3. They weren't giving him leave as well as they were pressurising him, aren't the company member will be liable for his death?

From Sri Lanka, Colombo

The tests to be applied are whether the death resulted in an accident arising during the course of employment and out of employment. There are many judicial decisions upholding that a heart attack is an accident and compensation is payable subject to the tests being answered in the affirmative. Since the employee was at the campsite when the heart attack happened, the same has happened during the course of employment. The evidence related to the company giving too much tension, denial of leave, etc suffices to prove that the accident arose due to the employment. So the bereaved family is entitled to compensation as per Employees Compensation Act 1923. Pl send a notice of death and claim compensation.
It is deplorable that the employer chose not to send its representative along with the dead body.

From India, Mumbai

Dear Shivam,

To be eligible for compensation under the Employees Compensation Act,1923, first, the person employed must be an 'employee' as defined u/s 2(dd) of the Act read with the list of employees enumerated in the Schedule II of the Act. Secondly, the injury sustained must be resulting in permanent or partial disablement or death of the employee as a result of an accident arising out of and in the course of the employment. In the case of employees required to work on site where they have to reside, they are deemed to be on work at site all the time including the time of their rest or stay under the doctrine of notional extension of place and time of employment.

Therefore, if your deceased relative falls within the ambit of the definition clause, under the circumstances of continuous work for two months and refusal of leave thus explained in your post, the sudden cardiac arrest causing his death can be attributed to the stress and strain caused by the rigor of his employment and as such his dependents are entitled to compensation under the Act.

It is not discernible from your post whether any post mortem was done or in case done, what was the cause of death mentioned therein by the doctor who conducted the autopsy.

Any way, his dependents can file a claim for compensation if he was an employee before the Compensation Commissioner for the area where he worked last and later transfer the case to the place of their residence.

From India, Salem

Dear Shivam,

The person died while at home (Residential Camp)due to cardiac arrest is not liable to get compensation under the WC Act. The compensation under this act is paid to workmen in case of an Accidents, Arising out of and in the Course of Employment and causing either disablement or death of workmen.

Your point 1 & 2 are not attributing cause to get compensation. As the case appears the family members cant claim under the act for compensation.

There is nothing wrong to file a case before the ALC in claim of compensation, the primary reason of death was due to work load and not allowed leave for physical ailments owing to treatment and mental harassment. You/Family members/Lawyer has to prove the cause of death with witness from the coworkers.

From India, Mumbai
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