Help combat the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Visit:

Basic Guide to Compensation for Occupational Fatalities

Basic Guide to Compensation for Occupational Fatalities

When workers die as a result of occupational injuries or diseases, their dependants can claim compensation.


The Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act applies to:

  • all employers; and
  • casual and full-time workers who, as a result of a workplace accident or work-related disease:
    • are injured, disabled, or killed; or
    • become ill.

This excludes –

  • workers who are totally or partially disabled for less than 3 days;
  • domestic workers;
  • anyone receiving military training;
  • members of –
    • the South African National Defence Force, or
    • the South African Police Service;
  • any worker guilty of wilful misconduct, unless they are seriously disabled or killed;
  • anyone employed outside the RSA for 12 or more continuous months; and
  • workers working mainly outside the RSA and only temporarily employed in the RSA.

See (Ref)

Workers who are affected by occupational injuries and diseases are entitled to compensation

Reporting Occupational Fatalities

If an accident or disease causes a worker’s death, the employer must submit the following immediately:

  • report of accident or disease;
  • death certificate indicating the cause of death;
  • if the worker leaves a widow/widower and children under 18 years: 
    • marriage certificate;
    • birth/baptismal certificates or sworn statements on all children’s dates of birth;
    • compensation claim form (W.CI.3);
    • widow’s/widower’s statement (W.CI.32); and
    • a specified burial account and the receipt, if paid.

Compensation for Dependants

If a widow/widower and/or children are left behind –

  • a lump sum is payable to the widow/widower;
  • a pension is payable to the widow/widower and children.

The widow/widower’s pension is calculated at 40% of the pension that the worker would have received for 100% permanent disablement. Each child’s pension is calculated at 20% of the pension. If there is no widow/widower or children, other dependants can claim compensation. Dependency must be proved in all cases.

Based on Legislation in Section 54of the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act

Related Products

Originally appeared on on 12-09-2008. The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of estome. estome accepts no responsibility for the accuracy, completeness or fairness of the article, nor does the information contained herein constitute advice, legal or otherwise.

Shopping basket


No products in the basket.