The Workmen Compensation Act was introduced in India to help the employees or the workers in industries to get the repayment in terms of money if they underwent an accident while working in the industry with dangerous machineries. It also includes compensation for death.
This act was passed in 1923. The number of fatal cases in India were increasing in the late 19th and early 20th century. Before the Act was passed, the workers who faced the injuries while working in the industry often had to go to the court and file a case to get the compensation. But since the number of cases were on the rise as the years went by and there was no system, the act had to be passed so that the workers don’t have to go through the complex processes of going into the court asking for relief.
Earlier it was observed that the industry took care of the machineries and spent capital for their maintenance etc. but since the machinery depended on the labours and they had to be employed to get the factory work done. The question arose – Why not spend the money on their care and wellbeing as well?
Aspects of the workmen compensation act
There are basically two aspects which this act includes –
This act covers all the industries, factories, plantations, mines, transport establishments, railways, ships, circuses, construction work and any other potentially dangerous occupations. Schedule II of the Act includes the list of all the industries in detail that are covered in this act. It is applicable to all states of India except for Jammu and Kashmir. There is no wage limit for the coverage under the act and the compensation depends on the complexity of the injury.
Below are some of the features of Workmen Compensation Act
6. Extension of the provisions of the workmen compensation act to the hazardous employment in agriculture – This includes working in the jungle, reclaiming land, forest operations, working and maintenance of borewell, spraying of insecticides and pesticides in the farms, working and repair of agricultural machinery like bulldozers, tractors etc.
7. Last amendment of the act in 1995 – The provisions of the workmen compensation act, 1923 were reviewed in 1974 and 1989 by the law commission of India and new changes were implemented in 1995. Some of the changes were –