On July 17, 1935, Governor Olin Johnston signed legislation creating a workers’ compensation system in South Carolina, followed by the South Carolina Industrial Commission created on September 1, 1935, to administer and enforce the new law. In May 1986, the name of the Industrial Commission changed to the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission.
During the past 75 years, the law has been amended by statute, defined by case law and altered through administrative policies and procedures. However, its basic premise and purpose has remained unaltered. Historically, six basic objectives underlie the Workers’ Compensation Act:
- Provide sure, prompt and reasonable income and medical benefits to work-related accident victims or income benefits to their dependents, regardless of fault.
- Provide a single remedy and reduce court delays, costs and judicial workloads arising out of
personal injury litigation.
- Relieve public and private charities of financial demands incident to uncompensated occupational accidents.
- Minimize payment of fees to lawyers and witnesses as well as time-consuming trials and court
- Encourage maximum employer interest in safety and rehabilitation through an appropriate
experience rating mechanism.
- Promote frank study of the causes of accidents (rather than concealment of fault) in an effort to reduce preventable accidents and human suffering.