Report No. 62
10.69. Persons exposed to hazards (Additional item to be included in the second Schedule).-
We regard it as a serious drawback in the existing Act, that it fails to cover those employees who, though not directly employed in the specified hazardous employments, are, nevertheless, exposed to those very hazards by reason of the fact that the duties of their employment require them, whether occasionally or frequently, to face those hazards. For example, an office worker who occasionally has to visit a thermal power house for checking, say, stores, in order to verify the accounts of certain purchases made for the power house, is exposed to the same hazards as a worker employed on the premises.
But, as the law stands now, if he is injured by an electrical apparatus in the power house, he is not covered by the Workmen's Compensation Act. Similarly, a person performing administrative duties, who has to go to a Government-owned factory for some such purpose as is mentioned above, is not covered by the Act. The existing scheme is based on the distinction which exists between the hazard constituted directly by one's usual employment, and the hazard, occasionally arising from isolated contacts with the hazardous object.
10.70. In our view, this distinction should, having regard to the modern tendency to increase rather than decrease the right to compensation, be removed. Where the accident is due to the hazard constituted by a scheduled employment, compensation should be admissible whether the workman is one employed in the very employment (which is hazardous), or whether he comes into contact with that hazard only at isolated times in the course of his duties. We, therefore, recommend the insertion of a general item at the end of the Second Schedule, to cover such a situation.