A former road construction worker who was previously employed by the China Railway International (CRI), on the Lae-Nadzab Road Project in 2020 complained to the Ombudsman Commission on 12 April 2023 that he was not paid the correct compensation for the injury he sustained whilst employed as a road construction worker.
He stated that the incident happened during work when his supervisor attempted to hit him with a hammer. When he tried to avoid it, he lost balance and fell off into the drain, hitting his face against the drain’s concrete wall where he lost all his front teeth. He was taken to his residence in Yalu village along the Lae – Nabzab road.
He later sought legal assistance from the Public Solicitor’s Office after receiving his medical certificate at Angau Hospital on 2 July 2020. Public Solicitor upon receipt of his request with the medical certificate attached, referred him to the Office of Workers Compensation (OWC) to get the calculation of the injury. While he was trying to locate the OWC in Lae, the Court made its ruling that CRI is to pay him compensation of K 6, 730.00. This amount was paid by CRI on 8th July 2021 through a Court Order from the Court.
Despite the initial compensation payment, the complainant remained dissatisfied with the amount received and subsequently lodged a complaint with the Ombudsman Commission. In response to his complaint, the Commission wrote to the OWC, advising them to recalculate the compensation claim based on the severity of the injury documented in his medical certificate.
The OWC, after receiving the Commission’s letter, conducted a recalculation and determined that the appropriate compensation amount was K 9,187.50, with K 6,730.00 deducted from the total amount previously paid by CRI. This left an outstanding balance of K 2,557.50.
With the recalculated amount confirmed by the OWC, the complainant once again sought the assistance of the Ombudsman Commission to facilitate the payment of the outstanding balance by CRI. Identifying the importance of addressing this matter, the Ombudsman Commission arranged a meeting with the CRI Human Resources Manager at the Yalu Campsite.
As a result of the Ombudsman Commission’s intervention and the constructive dialogue between the Commission and CRI, the remaining balance of K 2,557.50 was successfully paid to the complainant on September 19, 2023.