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8.11.2 Will result 'in whole or in part' from that injury


Section 39(14) of the 1971 Act refers to 'in whole or in part' when describing the required causal relationship between the injury and the total incapacity for work. Accordingly, the injury need only be one of several events which together result in the total incapacity. There must, however, be a substantial causal connection, not just a minor or insubstantial connection.

Composite injuries

Where an employee has claimed in respect of two or more separate impairments, a payment under S39 may be made in respect of one of those impairments if it does not contribute in whole or in part to incapacity.

This is made clear by the discussion of 'Composite Injuries' in the Policy Instructions issued under the 1971 Act:

39/25 Where, as a result of an incident an employee sustained two or more injuries, the Act does not preclude the payment of compensation under Section 39 in respect of one or more of these injuries while another of those injuries results in the employee being totally or partially incapacitated for work. For example, if as the result of the one incident (say a fall at work) an employee suffers a back injury and a fractured arm, and the employee is totally incapacitated for work due solely to his back injury, compensation is payable under Section 39 for the loss of the efficient use of the arm provided, of course, that the condition of the arm is permanent (Instruction 39/7) and that the condition of the arm is not likely to result in the employee becoming totally incapacitated for work (Instruction 39/1(b)). Similarly, if the employee's back injury ALONE resulted in PARTIAL incapacity for work a payment of compensation under Section 39 may still be made in respect of the ARM injury while the employee remains entitled to weekly payments of compensation under Section 46 of the Act in respect of PARTIAL incapacity for work due SOLELY to the back injury.

39/26 It should be noted however that if, in the above example, the employee's arm condition contributed to the total incapacity for work a payment under Section 39 could not be made on the basis that the total incapacity for work resulted in part from that injury – see Subsection 39(14).