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If someone dies in your office - would you know what to do?

by , 23 September 2016
If someone dies in your office - would you know what to do?As a student I worked at a restaurant to earn some extra cash to get me through my varsity years. One night I was serving a particularly nice family. The mom, dad, granny and grandpa completely doted over the six-year-old twin girls. I left their table to fetch their drinks after taking their order and chatting to them about the icy cold front that hit us.

To my absolute horror, when I returned the grandfather was lying on the floor surrounded by paramedics. Fortunately for him, our management was so well versed in handling these types of situations in the workplace, within minutes there was an ambulance waiting outside. The family's grandfather had a severe heart attack. And, if management didn't react as fast as they did, he might not have survived the ordeal.

But what happens if there is a death in your workplace?

It's something nobody wants to prepare themselves for, but must. A death in the workplace, if not handled correctly, could cost you thousands, not to mention the emotional cost to your company and the employee's family.

There are two steps to doing the right thing...

Avoid getting your claims denied...

COID statistics show that the fund denies 80% of all claims outright!


For two reasons:
  1. The employee either didn't report the claim properly.
  2. Or the incident they reported is something the COID Fund doesn't cover.
Click here to ensure this doesn't happen to you...


Two steps to take when someone dies in your office
Step 1: Report it!

Report the incident immediately, i.e. the same day, to the Regional Director at your nearest labour centre.
This report should be by telephone, followed by a fax or email (OHSA General Administrative regulations Section 1(b)).

Step 2: Make sure you've included the right information in the report!

Include this on your fax/email to the DoL:
  • Name of the injured/deceased person
  • Address of the injured/deceased person
  • Name of the user, employer or self-employed person
  • Address of the user, employer or self-employed person
  • Telephone number of the user, employer or self-employed person
  • Name of contact person
  • Details of incident:
    • What happened;
    • Where it happened (place);
    • When it happened (date and time);
    • How it happened;
    • Why it happened; and
    • Names of witnesses.
There's a legal process you need to follow when an incident happens in your workplace. Click here to get your hands on the only tool in South Africa that gives you a step-by-step procedure to investigate and report incidents.

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