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RMA celebrates 123 years of caring for injured workers

1 June 2017

Providing occupational injury compensation for over a century and still going strong

Photography for RMA in February 2017  by Jeremy Glyn.

With the world having just celebrated Workers’ Month in South Africa, Rand Mutual (RMA) understands the profound ways in which disability affects individuals’ lives. The personal journey of dealing with the consequences of physical injury is unique to each individual and few organisations understand such challenges better than RMA, which on 1 June 2017 celebrates 123 years of providing caring, compassionate compensation to injured workers.

“We were the first institution in South Africa to provide compensation to workers, and RMA has been a pioneer in this field since our inception in 1894. The company’s birth predates the workers’ compensation legislation in this country,” says RMA’s chief executive officer Jay Singh.

“As a non-profit mutual assurance company with more than 12 decades of experience, we have continuously strived to not only provide compensation for injured workers but to provide for their needs with sensitivity, caring, and compassion. We consequently feel that we have much to celebrate and take pride in on this milestone 123rd anniversary, which we view as an apt occasion continuing from Workers’ Month commemorations in May,” adds Singh.

“In the 123 years our company was founded to administer workers’ compensation, advances in health and safety regulations and industry-driven initiatives have made significant inroads in the prevention of occupational injuries. Even then, accidents do unfortunately still occur from time to time and it is our role to provide medical treatment and compensation, not only in terms of the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (COIDA) but through the extended solutions that we provide for this purpose.

“We must acknowledge the foresight of our original founding fathers, the three mining companies in the Witwatersrand in 1894 including Simmer & Jack Mines (Simmers), who identified a need to help care for miners injured on duty. We still have a long-standing relationship with our mining clients who have continued to support us and ensure our longevity. Today we celebrate with these clients, as they have made our 123 years possible. We have also since welcomed clients from the iron, metal, steel and related industries into the RMA fold since Class XIII industries were transferred to RMA in March 2015,” a proud Singh adds.

“We are committed to our promise of Caring, Compassionate Compensation and a promise that goes above and beyond our legislated commitments to our beneficiaries. An example is our mobile prosthetic clinic that travels each year to take services to beneficiaries by visiting rural areas. In this way, we take our special brand of care to claimants who live far away from cities where specialised services are readily available.

“We have come to know our beneficiaries well over the years, and we are also aware of the socio-economic circumstances under which some of them live. Where appropriate, RMA far extends the aid offered as part of our social commitments to our beneficiaries. We also pay for the education, including tertiary level studies, for many of the children of seriously injured workers and those who have died from their injuries,” he adds.

In April 2016, we opened our own state-of-the-art facility in Welkom with the Honourable Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant in attendance. This facility offers custodial care, as well as a range of services, prosthetic review, rehabilitation, pressure sore management and pro-active health interventions to RMA beneficiaries.

“The Rand Mutual Care Facility has allowed us to ensure that our beneficiaries receive the highest standard of care, in a custom-built medical and rehabilitation unit that has been designed and developed to be as inclusive and enabling an environment as possible.

“We have found that embracing a diverse approach to care lends a more intuitive level of support and commitment in our mission of assisting people living with life-changing injuries. For 123 years, the dignity of the injured individual has been central to our ethos of caring, compassionate compensation, and we consider it an honour to provide for injured and disabled workers in their time of need,” Singh concludes.

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