Alberta employers report 1,427 ‘potentially serious incidents’ under new requirement

Majority of reports coming from construction, manufacturing

In the past nine months, more than 1,400 potentially serious incidents (PSIs) have been reported to the Government of Alberta. The reports came from 667 different employers.


“We are one of the only jurisdictions in the country collecting this type of leading indicator data,” said Jody Young, assistant deputy minister, Safe, Fair and Healthy Workplaces, Government of Alberta, speaking at the Alberta Health and Safety Conference in Edmonton on Friday.


As of June 1, Alberta employers have been required to report PSIs to the government. A PSI is any incident that could have resulted in a fatality or caused an individual to be admitted to the hospital as an inpatient under slightly different circumstances. The reporting requirement is not limited to workers and does not require the occurrence of an injury.


The government went out and investigated 98 of the 1,427 reported PSIs.


“As PSIs come into the department, we are triaging them. We are looking to see that workplaces have instituted measures to prevent re-occurrence,” said Young. “There were 98 that we thought ‘Hmm, there isn’t a clear description of what the workplace parties have done to prevent reoccurrence of this particular situation, so we will go out and double check.” 


Most of the PSIs came from the construction industry (399 reports), followed by manufacturing (319), public administration (227) and mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction (226).


The most common incident reported was “caught, contact or struck with objects/tool/equipment” (476 reports), followed by slips and trips (117) and falls and jumps (115). The most common types of injuries were wounds, sores and bruises (399), followed by joint and muscle conditions (362).


According to a fact sheet provided by the Alberta government, the following factors should be taken into consideration when determining whether an incident is a PSI:

•actual circumstances of the incident (person, place, time, work practices being followed)

•hazards present at the time of the incident

•appropriate controls in place at the time of the incident

•slightly different circumstances (timing, distance, body position etc.) that may have resulted in a serious injury

•similar incidents that have occurred within the employer or prime contractor’s operations in the past two years that resulted in a serious injury.