The right to be entitled to compensation for injuries sustained in the course of employment has always been an essential component of basic social security rights. In South Africa, COIDA provides for a system of no fault compensation for employees who have sustained injuries or contracted occupational diseases during the course of their employment. Section 49 of COIDA provides for compensation for permanent disablements. In terms of section 49, the Commissioner must assess the permanent disablement of the employee by applying Schedule 2 of COIDA, which stipulates percentages of disablement for different injuries or mutilations. This publication focuses on the provision made for legislation pertaining to the determination of permanent disablement in the national, regional and international sphere, whilst analysing section 49 of COIDA and the problems that are currently experienced in practice with determining permanent disablement in the workplace. It is intended to aid those at study in this field whilst aiming to make possible recommendations to COIDA.