The Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC) granted the claim of a widow for compensation arising from the death of her husband, a seafarer who died on board the MSC Splendida vessel due to heart attack.

According to the medical report, the chief doctor on board responded to a call and found the seaman unconscious and unresponsive in his cabin. A check on the vital signs of the seaman showed no signs of pulse, breath, and pupil reaction which prompted the doctor to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). After 40 minutes of unsuccessful CPR, the doctor pronounced the seaman dead.

SSS denied the claim of the seaman’s widow on the ground that there was no causal relationship between the seaman’s cause of death and the nature of his job as a musician at Kestrel Shipping, Inc. from December 2017 to January 2018.

Upon review, the ECC ruled in favor of the widow and thus, recommended the granting of death with funeral benefits as stated under the Employees’ Compensation Law.

ECC arrived at the decision after establishing that despite the deceased being a known smoker and had a history of alcoholic beverage drinking, the nature and environment of the deceased’s work exposed him to increased risk of developing heart ailment which resulted to his death at the age of 55.

Musicians, like the deceased, perform strenuous and demanding physical work during rehearsals and concerts which heightens heart rate and imposes on the heart. Thus, musicians are advised to practice healthy life habits.

However, Kestrel Shipping, Inc. lacked policies prohibiting smoking or actions to encourage their workers to live healthy lifestyles. Instead, ECC found that the company tolerated smoking even during long rehearsals, exposing the deceased to tobacco smoke and increasing his risk to develop cardiovascular diseases.

The ECC granted to pay death with funeral benefits to the widow of the seaman under the Employees’ Compensation Program (ECP). The widow will receive EC monthly death pension for life until she remarries.