Alberta workplace injury rate hits ‘record-low’

Fewer people were hurt on the job last year as Alberta’s workplace injury rate hit a record low with lost-time claim rate down almost 10 per cent from 2008, a statement from the province’s Department of Employment and Immigration said. The number of lost-time claim in the province went down 16.9 per cent from 31,410 in 2008 to 26,096 in 2009.

Lost-time claim rates were down across all major industry sectors in the province, with the manufacturing, processing and packaging, and the mining and petroleum development sectors experiencing the biggest drops. The provincial lost-time claim rate for 2009 was 1.69 per 100 full-time jobs, down from 1.88 the previous year. Overall employment was down nearly eight per cent.

Alberta’s 2009 Workplace Health and Safety Data Analysis document has shown a downward trend in lost-time claim rate in Alberta, from 2.41 in 2005 to 1.69 in 2009.

Occupational fatalities were also down, from 166 in 2008 to 110 in 2009, the department said.

“We’ve made good progress reducing workplace injuries but we can still do better,” said Thomas Lukaszuk, Minister of Employment and Immigration. “Today is the National Day of Mourning, when we remember those workers who didn’t come home at the end of their shift. Behind the numbers being released today are thousands of Alberta families whose lives have been changed by a workplace incident.” 

The disabling injury claim rate decreased to 3.09 per 100 full-time jobs in 2009, from 3.63 per 100 in 2008. This includes injured workers who cannot work their next shift (lost time) or have to be placed on modified work to accommodate their injuries.

The provincial fatality rate decreased by 28.5 per cent to 71 fatalities per million full-time jobs in 2009. Of 110 fatalities, 49 were occupational disease, 41 were workplace incidents and 20 were motor vehicle incidents.

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