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LUMP-SUM PAYMENTS FOR COMPENSATION FOR ACCIDENTS AND INDUSTRIAL DISEASES IN CERTAIN INDUSTRIES IN THE UNITED KINGDOM UNDER THE COMPENSATION ACT OF 1906, DURING THE YEAR 1908-Concluded.
The natural assumption that cases of accidents promising disability of only slight duration or actually terminated before the payment of compensation would furnish the greater portion of the class of cases in which settlement was made without previous weekly payments is borne out by the average amounts of such payments. Payments in this class of cases vary little in the different industries considered, the general average being but 41.4 per cent of the amount paid after weekly payments continuing for less than 26 weeks and 11 per cent of the average amount paid after 26 weeks or more of weekly payments. This ratio does not hold in the case of payments in cases of disease, the lump-sum payments without previous weekly payments being here slightly larger than payments in case of accident after weekly payments of less than 26 weeks. Such payments are also larger than the payments made in settlement of claims for disease on which previous payments have been made for less than 26 weeks. The average amount of lump-sum payments is greater in cases of disease than of accident, though settlement for accidents after weekly payments continuing 26 weeks or more involves a larger average sum than in the case of diseases. This accords with the view that an accident from which recovery is not made within the first six months is likely to result in permanent disability, while the amounts paid in cases of disease suggest an anticipated recovery. The number of cases under consideration is too small, however, to afford a basis for final conclusions.
Another phase of the practice of commutation of weekly payments by the payment of a lump sum, either by agreement or in accordance with proceedings had in court, is briefly illustrated in the following table. The first group of cases covers the experience in this respect of the accident department of an insurance company from June, 1900, to March, 1904, in cases of permanent disability. In these cases the amount of commutation was arrived at by agreement, while the last two cases represent awards by the county court.
COMMUTATION OF WEEKLY PAYMENTS FOR “PERMANENT DISABLEMENT.” [Source: Report of Departmental Committee Appointed to Inquire into the Law Relating to Com
pensation for Injuries to Workmen, 1904.)
a Not reported.
The concluding table of this series is one that shows the number of cases of disease of each kind provided for by the compensation act of 1906, by industries. Only those diseases are shown in the tables which were reported as occurring in 1908, and the industries are grouped somewhat in this presentation, but none embraced in the foregoing tables is omitted. The table follows:
CASES OF INDUSTRIAL DISEASE OCCURRING IN CERTAIN INDUSTRIES IN THE UNITED KINGDOM FOR WHICH FIRST PAYMENTS OF COMPENSATION WERE MADE IN 1908 UNDER THE COMPENSATION ACT OF 1906, CLASSIFIED ACCORDING TO DISEASE AND EMPLOYMENT,
(Source: Statistics of Compensation and of Proceedings under the Workmen's Compensation Act, 1906,
and the Employers' Liability Act, 1880, during the year 1908.)
Number of cases in
quelæ.. Phosphorous poisoning or its
sequelæ. Arsenic poisoning or its se
quela.. Ankylostomiasis. Poisoning by nitro and
amido derivatives of ben
zine or its sequela... Chrome ulceration or its se
the hand (beat hand)... Subcutaneous cellulitis over
the patella (miners' beat
knee). Acute bursitis over the el
bow (miners' beat elbow).. Inflammation of the syno
vial lining of the wrist joint and tendon sheaths..
The mining industry furnished almost three-fourths of all cases of industrial disease in 1908, while lead poisoning was the cause of more than four-fifths of all cases of disease occurring outside of mines.
SCHEMES FOR CONTRACTING OUT. As already stated, schemes of compensation which are approved by the registrar of friendly societies may be substituted for liability under both the employers' liability act and the compensation acts,
but since these provisions must be shown to be not less favorable to the workmen than are those of the compensation act there would seem to be little advantage to the employer in the adoption of such schemes; and in fact the number of such schemes has not been so large as to indicate any considerable desire for their maintenance. Thus, a report for the first five years of the operation of the compensation act of 1897 presents data for but 55 certified schemes, covering all returns received during the period. Not all the schemes were in existence during all the time, the number in actual operation for the year ending June 30, 1903, the closing year of the period, being 52. One new scheme was added during the calendar year, and among those whose certificates expired with the year, 22 were merged in a larger society, while 5 put in no applications for renewal.
The act of 1906 made some changes in the conditions of certification, and required all existing schemes to be certified thereunder within six months from July 1, 1907, the date of the coming into effect of the law. As a result of this requirement, 24 of the 51 schemes in existence on July 1, 1907, procured recertification, and 7 schemes under the new law were granted certificates. During the year 1908, 49 certificates were issued, 47 of them being of identical form, while two were in lieu of schemes that had lapsed under the provisions of the act of 1906. The provisions of some of these schemes may be briefly noted.
The scheme submitted by the South Metropolitan Gas Company was supported by 3,970 of the 5,429 workmen employed, and provides a pension for the children and a pension for life or until remarriage for the widow of a workman who is killed by accident, the pension ranging from 10 to 20 shillings ($2.43 to $4.87) per week. If a workman leaves no dependents, a lump sum is to be paid, not exceeding £10 ($48.67). In case of total incapacity, there is a payment to adult workmen of 18s. ($4.38) per week and free medical attendance; for those under 21 years of age the weekly payment is reduced onehalf. Where partial incapacity is the result of an accident, so that the employee is unable to resume his ordinary work, employment is to be furnished at a compensation of not less than 24s. ($5.84) per week. The employees contribute not less than 1d. (2 cents) per quarter and not more than that sum per month, the employer's contributions to be sufficient to maintain the fund's solvency. This scheme provides, in excess of the statutory requirements, for a payment of 18s. ($4.38) for the first week of disablement in all cases where incapacity lasts for more than three days, as well as free medical and surgical attendance.
The Great Eastern Railroad Company submitted a scheme, supported by 23,435 of its 32,622 workmen. Compensation for death is to be the same as that provided by the act. In cases of total incapacity, the full wages are paid from the date of incapacity, but not in excess of £1 ($4.87) per week. If the injured employee is under 21 years of age, he receives his full average earnings beginning with the date of injury. This is in excess of the provisions of the act, which requires only one-half the earnings to be paid, beginning with the second week. Employees contribute 1d. (2 cents) each per week to this fund, and the employer the full amount of his liability under the act.
In the year 1907 the Associated Employers of the Bristol Channel Ports submitted a scheme to be administered by the Bristol Channel Ports Friendly Society, covering the employment of coal trimmers, or workmen engaged in the loading of vessels with cargoes or a fuel supply of coal. Two schemes of identical form were registered in 1907 and 47 others in 1908, all 49 being considered by the registrar of friendly societies as a single organization, though involving the issue of separate certificates to each employer concerned. The scheme provides for a payment of £150 ($729.98) where a workman dying from the result of an injury leaves a widow alone; £200 ($973.30) if there is also one child under 16 years of age; £250 ($1,216.63) if there are also two children under 16 years of age; £300 ($1,459.95) if there are also three or more children under 16. Where there are certain other dependents, the compensation shall amount to three years' contribution by the deceased employee to the support of such dependents, but the total shall not exceed £300 ($1,459.95). If no dependents survive, the payment shall not exceed £10 ($48.67). In cases of incapacity a benefit of £1 ($4.87) per week is paid for the first 26 weeks, after which 10s. ($2.43) per week is paid. The contributions of workmen to the funds of this scheme are ls. 1d. (26 cents) each per quarter, while employers are to contribute not less than 12s. 6d. ($3.04) per £100 ($486.65) gross wages paid by them during the preceding 12 months in connection with the employments, this being at the rate of 0.62 per cent of the wages.
The benefits of this scheme in excess of the requirements under the compensation act of 1906 are pay for the first week's incapacity in any case, £1 ($4.87) per week for 26 weeks whether the average earnings were £2 ($9.73) per week or not, and provisions for loss of arms, legs, or eyes.
Some of the schemes contain provisions for old-age pensions or annual grants to aged members, without reference to any other cause of disability than old age.
The experience of schemes for contracting out under the act of 1897 is summarized in the report of the registrar for friendly societies for the year 1907. This shows the totals of receipts and expenditures of all schemes certified under that act for nine years, July 1, 1898,