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8.2.1 Overview - loss of sight


The 1971 Act includes several interlinked provisions for loss of sight:

  • Section 39(2) provided for the maximum rate of compensation for:
  • 'loss of, or total loss of sight of, both eyes', or
  • 'loss of, or total loss of sight of, a useful eye, the other being blind or absent'.
  • The table of losses in S39(4) provided for compensation at 40% of the maximum rate for 'Loss of, or total loss of the sight of, an eye'.
  • Sections 39(5) – (8) were additional provisions for losses in relation to sight:
  • S39(5) increased the percentage in the table of maims from 40% to 50% where the injury resulted in the loss of one eye and only partial sight in the other eye
  • S39(6) provided for compensation for partial loss of sight proportionate to the percentage of reduction in sight. Any loss of vision prior to the injury is taken into account when determining the percentage loss
  • S39(7) modified S39(6) to provide a higher rate of compensation for partial loss of sight in an eye if the other eye was totally lost in the same injury. The combined effect of S39(6) and (7) is that the client would be eligible for up to 50% of the maximum rate rather than the limit of 40% payable under S39(6)
  • S39(8) provided that 'two or more injuries to an employee that are sustained at the same time shall be treated as one injury' for the purposes of S39(5)and (7).