Indian Journal of Forensic Medicine & Toxicology (2023)

Workmen’s Compensation Act – Some Reflections

Author(s): Binod Kumar Patro, Chittaranjan Behera, Ramesh K. Sharma

Vol. 1, No. 1 (2007-07 - 2007-12)

Print-ISSN: 0973-9122; Electronic-ISSN: 0972 9130;

(1)Binod Kumar Patro, (2)Chittaranjan Behera, (3)Ramesh K. Sharma

(1)Public Health Specialist, Community Medicine, (2)Pool Officer, Forensic Medicine, (3) AdditionalProfessor, Forensic Medicine, All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi

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The Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923 providesfor payment of compensation to workmenand their dependants in case of injury and accident(including certain occupational disease) arisingout of and in the course of employment andresulting in disablement or death. The act whichis in place from 1923 is the oldest of its kind. Weare putting some of the salient features of actwhich are of interest to medical personnel for effectiveimplementation.

KEY WORDS: Workmen’s Compensation; Social Security and India


A developed India, by 2020 or even earlier is nota dream. It need not even be a mere aspiration inthe minds of many Indians. It is a mission we canall take up-and accomplish. Ignited young minds,we feel, are a powerful resource. This resource ismightier than any resource on the earth, in thesky and under the sea1. We must all work togetherto transform our ‘developing India’ into a ‘developedIndia’, and the revolution required for thiseffort must start in our minds.

The whole concept of transformation of developingIndia to developed India is based on capitalizingon huge human resource of India. Theframework for vision 2020 can be seen as; Humanresources – Massive workforce – Industrialgrowth – Economic growth – Developed India.

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According to Census of India 20012 report thework participation rate (percentage of workers tototal population) is 39.1% with total number ofworkers being 402,234,724. Males outnumber female in the working population. There are127,220,248 numbers of female workers in comparisonto 257,014,476 male workers. Within thisworkforce there are 89,229,741 marginal workers(who had worked for less than 6 months in thepreceding year are termed as marginal workers),rest 313,004,983 are main workers (who hadworked for more than 6 months in the precedingyear are termed as main workers).

Workers are exposed to certain degree of injuries,physical illness and mental conditions togethertermed as occupational diseases. The profile ofoccupational diseases also has changed over theperiod of time as a result of modernization, marketliberalization and globalization which now encompassesminor allergy and injuries, systemic infectionsand diseases to life threatening leukemiaand cancers3. For industrial growth in turn economicgrowth health of the workers is utmostimportant. Best practices of Occupational healthand safety can yield better and safe working environment.

However, apart from medical measuresengineering measures and legislative measure areimportant in promoting health at workplace.Simple engineering measure like design of thebuilding, good housekeeping, general ventilation,mechanization, protective devices add value tothe working environment. Society has an obligationto protect the health of the worker engagedin diverse conditions. Republic of India is committedtowards health of the workers by havingsuitable statutory or legislative measures. To protectworkers health and provide social securityseveral legislative measure are in place. The mostnotable among them are4, The Workmen’s CompensationAct, 1923; The Factories Act, 1948; TheEmployees State Insurance (ESI) Act, 1948;TheMinimum Wages Act, 1948; the mines Act, 1952;The Contract Labour (Abolition & Regulation)Act, 1970; The Dangerous (Regulation) Act, 1983;etc. The oldest legislative measure in place is “TheWorkmen’s Compensation Act, 1923”. Lowawareness among the client and refusal by managementis responsible its under-utilization5,6.

The salient points about The Workmen’s CompensationAct are as follows;

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The Workmen’s Compensation Act is the onlylegislative measure providing social security toworkers from pre-independence days (1923). Thislegislative measure was enacted in 5th March 1923and came in to effect in whole of India on Firstday of July 1924. The act got amended twice sincethen, 1984 and 2000. The present version in placeis The Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923(Amended in 2000). The act is spelt out in fourchapters and supplemented with four schedules.Low


“Workman” means any person (other than a personwhose employment is of a casual nature andwho is employed otherwise than for the purposesof the employer’s trade or business). The Act appliesto railway servants and persons employedin any such capacity as is specified in Schedule IIof the Act. The schedule II includes persons employedin factories, mines, plantations, mechanicallypropelled vehicles, construction works andcertain other hazardous occupations.“Total disablement” means such disablement,whether of a temporary or permanent nature,as incapacitates a workman for all work whichhe was capable of performing at the time ofthe accident resulting in such disablement.“Partial disablement” means, where the disablementis of a temporary nature, such disablementas reduces the earning capacity of a workmanin any employment in which he was engagedat the time of the accident resulting in the disablement,and, where the disablement is of apermanent nature, such disablement as reduceshis earning capacity in every employmentwhich he was capable of undertaking at thattime.

Compensation is provided to the employer as perthe act, however in case of death the dependantsare eligible for the same; who are defined as

  1. A widow, a minor legitimate son, andunmarried legitimate daughter, or a widowedmother; and
  2. if wholly dependent on the earnings of theworkman at the time of his death, a son or adaughter who has attained the age of 18 yearsand who is infirm;
  3. If wholly or in part dependent on theearnings of the workman at the time of hisdeath,
    1. A widower.
    2. A parent other than a widowed mother,
    3. A minor illegitimate son, an unmarriedillegitimate daughter or a daughterlegitimate or illegitimate if married andlegitimate or illegitimate if married and aminor or if widowed and a minor,
    4. A minor brother or a unmarried sister ora widowed sister if a minor,
    5. A widowed daughter-in-law,
    6. A minor child of a pre-deceased son,
    7. A minor child of a pre-deceased daughterwhere no parent of the child is alive,or
    8. A paternal grandparent if no parent ofthe workman is alive


Employer shall be liable to pay compensation, ifpersonal injury is caused to a workman by accidentarising out of and in the course of his employment.However the employer is not responsiblefor in the following conditions;

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1) In respect of any injury which does not resultin the total or partial disablement of theworkman for a period exceeding 3 days;

2) In respect of any injury, not resulting in death,caused by an accident which is directlyattributable to:

  1. The workman having been at the timethereof under the influence of drink ordrugs, or
  2. The willful disobedience of the workmanto an order expressly given, or to a ruleexpressly framed, for the purpose of securingthe safety of workmen, or
  3. The willful removal or disregard by theworkman of any safety guard or otherdevice which he knew to have been provided for the purpose of securing thesafety of workmen.
  4. Contract of an occupational disease in anyemployment wherein the total duration ofemployment is less than 6 months.


Amount of compensation is spelt out in the act asper the nature of injury and a multiplication factor.

  1. In case of death: An amount equal to Fortypercent (40%) of the monthly wage of thedeceased workman, multiplied by therelevant factor or Rs. 20,000 whichever ismore.
  2. In case of total permanent disablement: Anamount equal to fifty percent (50%) of themonthly wage, multiplied by the relevantfactor or Rs. 24,000 whichever is higher.
  3. In case of partial permanent disablement: thecompensation is a percentage of that payablein case of total permanent disablement. Theearning capacity is determined by a registeredmedical practitioner.
  4. In case of temporary (total or partial)disablement; A sum equivalent to twenty-fivepercent (25%) of the monthly wage paid halfmonthly for the period of disablement or 5years, whichever is shorter.


The state government appoints Commissionersvested with the powers of a civil court to investigateand to solve every case of workmen’s compensation.

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In case of any delay in payment ofworkmen’s compensation for a period of onemonth after the due date, a simple interest at therate of 6% per annum can be recovered from theemployer. Any appeal against the orders of theappointed Commissioner can be made in the respectiveHigh Court within 60 days.


Safety and preventive measures must be givenutmost priority at work place. Skilled medicalpersonnel trained in occupational health andsafety should be in place to cater to the day today health needs and minor injuries arising atwork place. Workmen’s compensation act is oneamongst many social security measures which arein place. Awareness among the client and medicalpersonnel is crucial for its effectiveimplementation.(Endnotes)


  1. Kalam APJ Abdul, Rajan Y.S, India 2020 A Vision of the NewMillennium; Penguin Books, 2003, India,
  2. Population Profiles; Census of India; Office of the RegistrarGeneral, 2 A, Mansingh Road, New Delhi 2004.
  3. Jaiswal A, Patro BK, Pandav CS. Occupational health andsafety: Role of academic institutions. Indian J Occup EnvironMed 2006;10:97-101
  4. J Kishore, National Health Programmes of India;2005; CenturyPublications; New Delhi
  5. V Murlidhar and Vijay Kanhere; Asbestosis in an asbestoscomposite mill at Mumbai: A prevalence study; EnvironHealth. 2005; 4: 24
  6. Murlidhar V, Kanhere V; Occupational noise-induced hearingloss: the first two cases compensated in India. Natl Med J India.1998 May-Jun; 11 (3):150.
  7. Workmen’s Compensation Act 1923, Accessed

Table 1: Schedule 1 of the act depicting permanent total and partial disablement:

Sl No Description of Injury % of loss of earning capacity
1 Loss of both hands or amputation at higher sites 100
2 Loss of a hand and a foot 100
3 Double amputation through leg or thigh, or amputation through leg or
thigh on one side and loss of other foot
4 Loss of sight to such an extent as to render the claimant unable to perform
any work for which eye sight is essential
5 Very severe facial disfigurement 100
6 Absolute deafness 100
Amputation cases-upper limbs (either arm)
1 Amputation through shoulder joint 90
2 Amputation below shoulder with stump less than 8” from tip of acromion 80
3 Amputation from 8” from tip of acromion to less than 4.5” below tip
of olecranon
4 Loss of a hand or of the thumb and four fingers of one hand or
amputation from 4.5” below tip of olecranon
5 Loss of thumb 30
6 Loss of thumb and its metacarpal bone 40
7 Loss of four fingers of one hand 50
8 Loss of three fingers of one hand 30
9 Loss of two fingers of one hand 20
10 Loss of terminal phalanx of thumb 20
Amputation cases-lower limbs
11 Amputation of both feet resulting in end-bearing stumps 90
12 Amputation through both feet proximal to the metatarso-phalangeal joint 80
13 Loss of all toes of both feet through the metatarso-phalangeal joint 40
14 Loss of all toes of both feet proximal to the proximal inter-phalangeal joint 30
15 Loss of all toes of both feet distal to the proximal inter-phalangeal joint 20
16 Amputation at hip 90
17 Amputation below hip with stump not exceeding 5” in length measured from
tip of great trenchanter
18 Amputation below hip with stump exceeding 5” in length measured from tip
of great trenchanter but not beyond middle thigh
19 Amputation below middle thigh to 3.5” below knee 60
20 Amputation below knee with stump exceeding 3.5” but not exceeding 5” 50
21 Amputation below knee with stump exceeding 5” 40
22 Amputation of one foot resulting in end-bearing 30
23 Amputation through one foot proximal to the metatarso-phalangeal joint 30
24 Loss of all toes of one foot through the metatarso-phalangeal joint 20
Other injuries
25 Loss of one eye, without complications, the other being normal 40
26 Loss of vision of one eye, without complications or disfigurement of
eye-ball, the other being normal
Fingers of right or left hand – Index Finger
27 Whole 14
28 Two phalanges 11
29 One phalanx 09
30 Guillotine amputation of tip without loss of bone 05
Fingers of right or left hand – Middle Finger
31 Whole 12
32 Two phalanges 09
33 One phalanx 07
34 Guillotine amputation of tip without loss of bone 04
Fingers of right or left hand – Ring or Little Finger
35 Whole 07
36 Two phalanges 06
37 One phalanx 05
38 Guillotine amputation of tip without loss of bone 02
Toes of right or left foot
39 Great toe: Through metatarso-phalangeal joint 14
40 Great toe: Part, with some loss of bone 03
41 Any other toe: Through metatarso-phalangeal joint 03
42 Any other toe: Part, with some loss of bone 01
Toes of one foot excluding the great toe
43 Two toes through metatarso-phalangeal joint 05
44 Part of two toes, with some loss of bone 02
45 Three toes Through metatarso-phalangeal joint 06
46 Part of three toes, with some loss of bone 03
47 Four toes Through metatarso-phalangeal joint 09
48 Part of four toes, with some loss of bone 03

Table 2: Schedule IV of the act describing Multiplication Factors for working out lump sum equivalentof compensation amount in case of permanent disablement and death.

Age in
Age in
16 228.54 41 181.37
17 227.49 42 178.49
18 226.38 43 175.54
19 225.22 44 172.52
20 224.00 45 169.44
21 222.71 46 166.29
22 221.37 47 163.07
23 219.95 48 159.80
24 218.47 49 156.47
25 216.91 50 153.09
26 215.28 51 149.67
27 213.57 52 146.20
28 211.79 53 142.68
29 209.92 54 139.13
30 207.98 55 135.56
31 205.95 56 131.95
32 203.85 57 128.33
33 201.66 58 124.70
34 199.40 59 121.05
35 197.06 60 117.41
36 294.64 61 113.77
37 294.64 62 110.14
38 189.56 63 106.52
39 186.90 64 102.93
40 184.17 65 or more 99.37

Address for correspondence: Dr. C Behera
Dept of Forensic Medicine & Toxicology,
All India Institute of Medical Sciences


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  • Indian Journal of Pediatrics Indian Journal of Pediatrics.
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Yes, IJSR is Indexed with prestigous Indexing Agency, Index Medicus (World Health Organisation) (Approved by MCI) & Hence IJSR is a valid publication for MCI purpose.

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You may conclude that Scopus is more in quantity and SCI is more in quality. Therefore, if you are confident about the potential of your journal paper, you may consider SCI journals over Scopus.

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Fast Publishing Scopus Indexed journals
  • Turkish Journal of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation (TJPR) – Q4 Ranking.
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Research papers are published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at conferences. The indexing services of Scopus helps researchers to find publications that are relevant to their research interests, and enables them to identify publications that have been cited or have been cited by others.

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However, as IJFMR is a peer reviewed journal, it is valid according to UGC's guidelines and recommendation.

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That said, publishing in high-impact, SCOPUS indexed journals is not always an easy task. Perseverance is the key. Researchers shouldn't be put off by reviewers' opinions of their work.

What is a good Scopus impact factor? ›

In most fields, the impact factor of 10 or greater is considered an excellent score while 3 is flagged as good and the average score is less than 1.


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