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Report No. 62

3.29. Accidents occurring in the course of transport to or from place of work (Section 51C, Employees State Insurance Act, 1948).-

We shall now proceed to section 51C of the Employees' State Insurance Act, 1948 which deals with accidents which 'happen'1 while the workman (insured person) is travelling in the employer's transport. Broadly stated, the effect of the section is that if an accident occurs while the workman, with the express or implied permission of the employer, travels as a passenger2 by any vehicle to or from his place of work, he is covered even though he is under no obligation to his employer to travel by that vehicle, provided certain conditions are satisfied. This provision is subject to certain conditions.

The first condition is that the accident is such as would have been deemed to have arisen out of and in the course of his employment, if the workman had been under an obligation to his employer to travel by that vehicle provided certain conditions are satisfied of the accident the vehicle was being operated by or on behalf of the employer (or some other person under arrangements with the employer) and the vehicle was not being operated in the ordinary course of a public transport service.

1. The proper word is "occur".

2. Drivers are excluded.

3.30. This section corresponds to section 9 of the National Insurance (Industrial Injuries) Act, 1946 (England). There was no corresponding provision in the Workmen's Compensation Act of England. As a general rule, a man's employment does not begin until he has reached the place where he has to work and it does not continue after he has left it.1 Where there is no "place of duty", one has to read this general rule in relation to the ambit, scope or scene of duty. Certain exceptions were recognised to this general rule. Mainly those exceptions relate to

(i) time spent in transport provided by the employer if the workman was under obligation to use it;

(ii) means of access to, or egress from the place of work;

(iii) attendance before starting time;

(iv) return to the employer's premises, even after the termination of the employment, for some purpose justified by the terms of the employment;

(v) compulsory use of premises provided by the employer-for example, where, between the hours of active work, the employer is required to use certain premises as a resting place.

1. Natherton v. Coles, (1945) 1 All ER 227 (229).

Workmens Compensation Act, 1923 Back

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