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1898. But the resulting law was considerably broader than the original act and a great many crudities were eliminated.
In accordance with a provision in the act of June 29, 1903, the text of the older law was codified with that of the act of June 29, 1903, and the new consolidated text of the law was promulgated by royal decree of January 31, 1904.
LEGISLATION IN FORCE.
The codified text of the law, as published by royal decree of January 31, 1904,() is the basis of the accident insurance system in force at present. This is supplemented by the regulations published by the royal decree of March 13, 1904;(b) the royal decree of May 15, 1904,(C) referring to slight details of the special guarantee fund as established by article 37 of the law of January 31, 1904; the law of July 11, 1904;(4) the royal decree of July 11, 1904; and the royal decree of September 29, 1904,(C) concerning the special provisions for the Sicilian sulphur mines. The royal decree of August 27, 1905,) refers to the insurance of seamen. The royal decree of December 24, 1903,(9) concerning the modification of existing accident insurance contracts, in view of the changes in the law, had temporary importance only. A royal decree of December 13, 1903, (TM) establishes a table of coefficients for computing the respective shares of claimants of indemnity for fatal accidents. By another royal decree of the same date(') the new regulations governing the National Accident Insurance Institution were approved and a new scale of insurance premiums established.
The law row covers the following branches of industry:
First. The more hazardous employments, viz, work in mines, quarries, and peat bogs, also the working of the raw material and the loading and transportation to the shipping point and unloading of the product; the construction, repair, and tearing down of buildings,
a Italian text: Annali del Credito e della Previdenza, 1904, No. 55, p. 1. German and Italian text: Zacher, Vla, pp. 26, 27. French text: Annuaire de la Legislation du Travail, 1904, p. 375.
b Italian text: Annali del Credito e della Previdenza, 1904, No. 55, p. 30; Zacher VIa, p. 46. German text: Zacher, Vla, p. 47. French text: Annuaire de la Legislation du Travail, 1904, p. 400.
c Annali del Credito e della Previdenza, 1904, p. 132.
e Annali del Credito e della Previdenza, 1904, No. 55, p. 125. Annuaire de la Legislation du Travail, 1904, p. 464.
h Annali del Credito e della Previdenza, 1904, No. 55, p. 89. Annuaire de la Legislation du Travail, 1903, p. 314.
i Annuaire de la Legislation du Travail, 1903, p. 353.
whether in the city or in the country, also including the loading, transportation, and unloading of the construction materials; gas works, electric power houses, and the transmission of gas and electricity; telephones; the placing, repairing, and taking down of electric conductors and lightning rods; arsenals, ship yards (except such as do not build any craft with a displacement of over 10 tons), and all industrial establishments in which explosives are manufactured or used. In this group all establishments are included without regard to the number of employees.
Second. All establishments in the following industries which employ more than five workers: The construction and operation of steam railways, or other railways driven by mechanical power; transportation on land, rivers, canals, and inland lakes, or deep-sea navigation; deep-sea fishing within 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) from the shore, and all sponge and coral fishing; loading and unloading; irrigation works, drainage and reclamation, and leveling and grading works; felling and chopping trees in forests; transportation of logs and wood to the wagon road or to the river front and depositing the logs in the rivers; construction and repair of harbors, canals, dams, bridges, tunnels, and roads; and the construction, repair, and demolition of ships.
Third. All other industries or establishments which utilize steam engines or machinery not driven by the person who tends it, and which employ more than five persons. All employees of these establishments, even if not engaged in handling the machinery, are included.
Finally, the work of tending machinery driven by mechanical power and utilized for industrial or agricultural purposes; service with cannon and other firearms, used to break up hailstorms; and the commissary department of the navy. Establishments utilizing machinery temporarily only, or connected with educational institutions and used for the purpose of instruction, or with hospitals, asylums, or other charitable institutions, are exempted, except that those persons who tend the machinery must be insured.
This very detailed enumeration of industries included under the law may be thus briefly summarized: All mining work, all building, practically all construction work, transportation, and all manufacturing industry with the exception of the hand trades. The large branches of economic activity which are not included are commerce, agriculture (except lumbering and tending agricultural machinery), and domestic service.
Cooperative establishments are subject to the provisions of the law on equal terms with other establishments, and the members of the cooperative group, if working in the establishments, must be insured like other employees.
The law also extends over the establishments, undertakings, or construction work of the state, provincial, or communal governments, or operated by private persons or corporations under a franchise (concession) from the Government.
The law applies to all workmen employed in the establishments and branches of industry enumerated above, and working outside of their own homes, whether at time or piece wages; also persons employed in a supervising capacity receiving not more than 7 lires ($1.35) per day and who are paid at least once a month; to apprentices employed in the work, whether with or without pay. Workmen who are hired and paid by other workmen in the establishment are considered for this purpose as direct employees of the establishment. The Italian law thus differs materially from the laws of some other European countries, in that it does not include the office employees of industrial establishments or enterprises.
In deep-sea navigation all members of the crew who receive not more than 2,100 lire ($405.30) per annum are included.
CHARACTER OF DISABILITY COMPENSATED.
The law grants compensation to the workman for all the injuries sustained because of the employment, and causing disability lasting over five days. There is no reference to the specific cause of the accident, the whole question of negligence, even if gross, having been entirely eliminated from the Italian law. However, if the accident is due to the willful misconduct of the injured, as established by means of a penal decision of the court, the beneficiary may be sued for the amount of compensation,
The compensation granted by the law consists of the following: First, medical aid; in case of temporary disability, one-half the daily wages; in case of total permanent disability, an amount equal to six times the annual earnings, and a proportionate sum in partial permanent disability; and in case of death, five times the annual earnings.
For seamen in deep-sea navigation the scale is considerably lower, namely, four years' earnings for total disability and three years' earnings for fatal accidents.
The essential feature of this scale of compensation is that it is based upon lump-sum payments, and though in some cases conversion into pensions or annuities is compulsory, as is explained presently, yet these amounts of annuities depend upon the lump sum. The Italian law does not attempt to cover the entire cost of medical and surgical treatment, as some other European compensations do.
MEDICAL ATTENDANCE.— Medical help to the injured is limited to the cost of first aid to the injured and the cost of transportation to the home, or to any other place where the injured person must be taken, and that of the medical certificate. This expense must be met by the employer directly, no matter how the other compensation is paid.
Employers who have organized a regular medical and pharmaceutical service for first aid to the injured, or who have contracted for such help with the Italian Red Cross Society, may be freed by the order of the prefect from meeting the cost of medical help in any other way, provided the arrangements are satisfactory to the prefect.
Only seamen receive full medical help. As they are granted free medical treatment during illness or injury by an older provision of the Commercial Code, the law specifically states that these rights are not destroyed by the new act.
TEMPORARY DISABILITY.-When the injury caused by the accident leads to total temporary disability, the injured person receives a daily allowance equal to one-half his wage at the time of the accident for all the time of the disability. Unlike most other accident insurance or compensation acts, the Italian law recognizes besides total temporary disability also the case of partial temporary disability. The compensation for such disability (leading to a diminution but not entire loss of earning power for a limited time) is a daily allowance equal to one-half the loss in wages, paid for all the time of disability. All allowances for temporary disability are paid for all days including holidays, but the day of accident is not counted.
PERMANENT DISABILITY.-The compensation for total permanent disability is equal to six times the annual earnings, but not less than 3,000 lire ($579). If the disability though permanent is only partial, leading to decrease but not total loss of earning capacity, the compensation is equal to six times the loss in annual earnings, but for the purposes of this computation the annual earnings must be taken at not less than 500 lire ($96.50). In either case, whether the permanent disability be total or partial, the indemnity is exclusive of the allowances for temporary disability for the first three months. If such allowances have been paid for a longer period, the excess of payments over three months is deducted from the compensation finally computed. If the compensation due to partial permanent disability is smaller than the allowances paid or due to be paid for temporary disability, then the injured employee has the right to this larger amount instead of the compensation for partial permanent disability.
To determine the degree of partial disability from the injury sustained, the following scale is established by the regulations:
80 75 70 65 30 25 15 12 8 5 70 60 50 15 7
Loss of the entire right arm or up to upper third.....
5 Complete deafness of one ear.
10 Total loss of sight in one eye...
35 Total and incurable loss of function is rated as equivalent to loss of part or organ. In case of loss of several parts or organs or of any injury not mentioned, the degree of disability must be decided upon the merits of each case.
When the permanent disability is total or over 50 per cent, then the computed compensation must be converted into a life annuity, for which purpose the National Old-Age and Invalidity Insurance Institution is utilized. Such conversion is not made immediately, however, because of the possibility that the original estimate of the degree or duration of disability may not have been accurate. The compensation granted is, therefore, turned over in trust for two years to the old-age insurance institution, and monthly allowances are paid to the injured person equal to the annuity which he could purchase with that amount of compensation. During these two years adjustments are made, as will be explained later in discussing the subject of “revision.” After two years the remaining sum (discounting the payments and making the necessary adjustments as a result of the revision, if any) is converted into an annuity, though in exceptional cases the magistrate may, upon petition of the injured employee made within fourteen days after the expiration of the two years' limit, permit the payment of the residual amount in a lump sum instead of an annuity.
If the injured person dies within the two years as a result of the accident, the remaining compensation (possibly adjusted as a result of a revision) is treated in the same way as compensation granted in