The Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC) granted an appellant’s claim for death benefits under the Employees’ Compensation Law (P.D. No. 626) for the death of her husband due to electrocution.
The deceased member was a 43-year-old machine operator at a rice mill in Isabela. He died due to a cardiac arrest caused by electrocution while fixing a fluorescent lamp at the ceiling of the compound he was working in June 2014.
The widow’s application for Employees’ Compensation death benefits claim in February 2019 was initially denied by the Social Security System (SSS) Cauayan, Isabela Branch on the ground that the covered member’s death was not work-connected. The SSS cited in its findings that the deceased member disregarded company rules when he tried to fix their company’s electrical wirings.
On appeal, the ECC decided to award death benefits to the widow.
According to ECC, the death of the machine operator could be considered an employment accident on the ground that the accident arose in the course of employment and within the premises of the employer. Notably, the act of fixing the fluorescent lamp was for the benefit of the employer.
The ECC further said that, “Deceased member cannot be considered as notoriously negligent as to negate the compensation claim. He was not prevented from fixing the lamp and there may be inaccuracy in performing the task, but he was not notoriously negligent.”
The ECC declared in its decision that it is important to always remember that P.D. 626, as amended, is a social legislation. Thus, it must be liberally construed and doubts shall be resolved in favor of labor.