Occupational diseases, motor vehicle collisions responsible for majority of deaths
Saskatchewan’s total injury rate for 2018 was 5.44 per 100 workers, a 3.6 per cent increase from 2017.
Also this past year, the time loss injury rate increased to 1.99 per 100 workers, compared to 1.86 per 100 workers in 2017.
“The increase in both the total injury rate and the time loss injury rate in 2018 may indicate these rates could increase in 2019 as well. We need to keep working together to take action on safety for ourselves and our co-workers,” said Phil Germain, vice-president of prevention and employer services at the province’s Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB).
Fatalities are also on the rise. There were 48 fatalities in 2018, an increase of 78 per cent from 2017. The top causes of fatalities in 2018 were from occupational diseases and motor vehicle collisions. Over the past 15 years, the WCB has seen an average of 37 workplace fatalities per year.
“This is devastating for our province. Behind every statistic is a loved one who will never come home to their family. The impact of losing someone dear to us is devastating,” said WCB CEO Peter Federko. “We’ve embarked on several research projects with the University of Regina and the University of Saskatchewan to understand more about our workplace fatalities.”
However, the WCB also revealed 88 per cent of employers achieved zero injuries or fatalities in 2018.
Last year, the WCB developed a serious injury definition, and found that 2,400 injuries met the definition each year from 2015-17. Serious injuries represented around 10 per cent of all injuries and 75 per cent of compensation days paid in 2017.
WorkSafe Saskatchewan, the WCB’s partnership with the Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety, launched several resources and campaigns in 2018 targeting the highest causes of workplace injuries and deaths.
“Keeping our workplaces safe is a shared responsibility,” said WCB chairperson Gord Dobrowolsky. “We will keep working with employers, workers and partners until we achieve zero injuries and zero fatalities.”