Questions & Answers

Q1. Should the Employment Injury Insurance (EII) scheme provide compensation for commuting expenses to the hospital to receive the medical treatment after the work-related accident took place?

A1. Regarding the costs of transportation to doctors, the principle in ILO standards directs that medical care needs to be fully covered, including domiciliary visiting as part of medical care. If the state of the person requires transportation for medical treatment in distantly located hospitals, the absence of medical facilities should not be detrimental nor incurr financial costs for the injured worker. 
Most social security systems cover these transportation costs especially in case of employment injuries but require that financial coverage be approved by the medical body for example for long distance transport, repeated medical visits, transport by airplane, etc.

Q2. What does the ILO standards state on the shift of worker’s position because of his/her injury?
(e.g. From manufacturing worker to administrative staff)
What does the ILO standard mandate about the impact of that functional change?
(e.g. The worker who have worked at the assembly line for 12 hours per day with the hourly rate of 10 USD/h can now only works for 8 hours daily in the office with the rate of 6 USD/h, resulting in the significant reduction of salary)

A2. In the given case, the worker earned 120 USD/day (12 hours x 10 USD/h) and after the accident the worker is earning 48 USD/day (8 hours x 6 USD/h). His/her daily salary rate has been reduced by 60%. According to the principles contained in ILO employment injury standards, specialized medical personnel should assess the degree of the temporary or permanent partial disability based on the loss of earning capacity or corresponding loss of faculty due to an employment injury.

Then, the worker is categorized as partially disabled with a corresponding degree of disability. In principle, each country should, subject to prescribed conditions, secure the provision of employment injury or analogous benefits under the contingency of total loss of earning capacity or partial loss thereof in excess of a prescribed degree, likely to be permanent, or corresponding loss of faculty due to an employment injury. The partial disability pension can be cumulated with the wage a partially disabled victim of employment injury earns through his/her remaining working capacity.

In addition, the Employment Injury Benefits Recommendation (No. 121) provides that the cash benefit payable by reason of loss of earning capacity likely to be permanent, or corresponding loss of faculty, should take the form of a periodical payment for the duration of such loss in all cases in which the degree of loss equals at least 25 per cent. In cases in which the degree of loss of earning capacity likely to be permanent, or corresponding loss of faculty, is less than 25 per cent. a lump sum may be paid in lieu of a periodical payment.
Such lump sum should bear an equitable relationship to periodical payments and should not be less than the periodical payments which would be due in respect of a period of three years. Thus, countries should secure the provision of cash benefits through the employment injury scheme to add to the lower salary that the worker receive in the new job.

Convention 121 (Art.26) provides that each Member shall provide rehabilitation services which are designed to prepare a disabled person wherever possible for the resumption of his previous activity, or, if this is not possible, the most suitable alternative gainful activity, having regard to his aptitudes and capacity.

In case it is a non-work related injury, then the benefit should be provided by the old-age, invalidity and survivors pension scheme. The Invalidity, Old-Age and Survivors' Benefits Recommendation (No. 131) states that a reduced benefit should be provided in respect of partial invalidity, under prescribed conditions.

Q3. Does the ILO publish any reports or provide any tables regarding the degree of the permanent disability of workers?

A3. The severity of disability can be determined according to the loss of the ability or the decrease of the physical faculties. This level is usually determined by professionals specializing in occupational accidents. The ILO does not develop international tables on the percentages of permanent disability, since the percentage of disability is related to the person's age, education, characteristics of their occupation, country context, etc. For example, it is not the same percentage of disability for a person who suffers a serious injury to a leg if he works in an office or works in a construction site.
However, the ILO has developed a list of occupational diseases that every Member should include in its legislation (Table I of Convention No. 121). Convention No. 42 also establishes a list of diseases and intoxications that should be considered as occupational diseases. Finally, Recommendation No. 194 establishes the most recent recommendation on the List of Occupational Diseases.

Q4. When vocational accident happens, what is the standard calculation formula to derive the severity rate in consideration of the lost working days prescribed by the doctor?
If the victim is an apprentice, is this case included in severity rate formulation or not?

A4. This type of matter falls within the national legislative framework. The ILO does not provide information on national law or practice. To obtain this information, it is recommended to contact the Ministry of Labour and/or employers (and/or workers) organizations in the concerned country.
However, it should be noted that ILO Convention No. 121 on Employment Injury Benefits and Occupational Diseases provides the following:
"National legislation concerning benefits in the event of accidents at work and occupational diseases must protect all employees (including apprentices) in the private or public sectors, including cooperatives and, in the event of the death of the breadwinner, the prescribed classes of beneficiaries. "

Q5. What is the “Incidence rate of occupational injuries” and how is it measured?

A5 The ILO defines the “Incidence rate of occupational injuries” as “the number of new cases of occupational injury during the calendar year per 100,000 workers in the reference group.” and the “Time lost per occupational injury” is defined as “the average number of calendar days lost per new cases of non-fatal occupational injury resulting in temporary incapacity”.

International statistics are often harmonised in order to produce comparable indicators. However national circumstances should be taken into account when measuring specific indicators since that is a more accurate way to reflect the reality through the defined indicators.
For instance, in the United States, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the incidence rate is based on a standard base of 200,000, i.e. the number of hours 100 employees working 40 hours per week, 50 weeks per year would work.