Largely due to occupational diseases from mining industry, government says
Workplace fatalities are on the rise in Newfoundland and Labrador. According to WorkplaceNL, there were 36 work-related fatalities in 2018, four accidental and 32 due to occupational disease. By comparison, there were 25 work-related fatalities in 2017 and 16 fatalities in 2016.
Almost two-thirds of the occupational disease-related fatalities are due to exposure to harmful substances decades ago in the mining industry, the government says.
“We are working to create awareness so that workers are no longer exposed to harmful substances,” said Dennis Hogan, CEO, WorkplaceNL. "Improvements in safe work practices, regulations and certification training are helping to prevent workplace injury and illness today. It will take continued leadership and commitment from all employers, workers and industry and safety partners to ensure that everyone has a safe and healthy workplace.”
Newfoundland and Labrador’s lost-time incidence rate due to workplace injury or illness in 2018 was 1.6 per 100 workers, up slightly from 1.5 the previous year. It remains among the lowest in Canada, the provincial government said.
There were also more short-term claims in 2018 compared to 2017.
"Reducing workplace incidents is everyone’s responsibility,” said Minister Responsible for WorkplaceNL Sherry Gambin-Walsh. “Together, we must continue to find ways to ensure that everyone returns home healthy and safe at the end of the work day.”