Labour Laws Q/A

Accident when Workman was not Performing Duty

Whether an employer will be liable for payment of compensation when the employee is performing his duty.

Even when a workman was not performing his actual duties and dies, the employer will be liable for payment of compensation under the Act. When an accident took place at 7 p.m. whereas the duty hours of the deceased were 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., the compensation will be payable and the appeal against the order of the Commissioner will not be tenable since such a plea has not been taken before the Compensation Commissioner.1 Once a workman reports to duty at the work place and an accident occurs, the further question as to whether he has reported to duty to his immediate superior or supervisor, becomes irrelevant as such an employer cannot escape its liability for payment of compensation on an accident to the dependant of the deceased workman that at the time of accident the workman was not discharging his duty.2 Insurer is liable for payment of accident compensation even when the vehicle was stationary.3 When an employee receives injury at the place of his work which results into his death, his/her dependent(s) would be entitled to receive compensation irrespective of the fact that he had reached his place of work earlier than the fixed timings as such an injury amounts to ‘employment injury’ as per provisions of the Act.4

As per provisions of section 3 of the Employees’ Compensation Act, 1923, it is not necessary that the workman must be actually working at the time of injury or the accident.5 When murder has taken place not as the main felonious act but it is only incidental or ancillary to the main act of felony, such as stealing cash or a vehicle or valuable goods, such murder constitutes accident during the course of employment, attracting compensation under the Employees’ Compensation Act, 1923 and not otherwise.6 The Delhi High Court has held that no compensation when deceased was not working at the time of accident.7

1. South Eastern Coal Fields v. Sukrita Bai, 2000 LLR 880 (MP HC).
2. Hindustan Shipyard Ltd., Visakhapatnam v. Mohnoob Subhani, 2005 LLR 26 (AP HC).
3. National Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Devu Poojari s/o Muthappa Poojari, 2013 LLR 153 (Karn HC).
4. Regional Director, Employees’ State Insurance Corporation v. Derhin Bai, 2013 LLR 170: 2012 (135) FLR 1004 (Chhat HC).
5. Managing Director, Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation v. Jayalakshmi, 2015 LLR 1068 (Karn HC).
6. New India Assurance Co. Ltd. v. M. Parvathamma, 2015 LLR 41 (Hyd HC).
7. Anju Devi (Smt.) v. Director General Employees State Insurance Corporation, 2015 LLR 1144 (Del HC).

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