Time lost due to workplace injury increasing in Nova Scotia ​

WCB Nova Scotia says it has been 'tragic year' in fishing, construction

Time lost due to workplace injury increasing in Nova Scotia

REUTERS/Steve Waden

While fewer injuries are occurring on the job in Nova Scotia, when they do, it’s taking longer for workers to return to work.


According to WCB Nova Scotia’s Report to the Community for the second quarter of 2018, the length of an average claim and the number of days lost to workplace injury are both increasing. Average claim duration has increased to 121 days for the second quarter of 2018, from 117 days at the end of 2017.


“Timely, healthy and safe return to work is the best outcome, for everyone,” said Stuart MacLean, CEO of WCB Nova Scotia. “Too much time is being lost to injury in our province, and it’s holding us back. We all have a role to play in ensuring injured workers are supported as they recover and make safe and timely returns to work. The longer an injured worker stays off the job, the more complex the situation becomes.”


WCB continues to develop and roll out its Working to Well program, which provides return-to-work resources to the province’s injured workers, employers and service providers.


There were 1,343 time-loss injuries from April to June of 2018, down slightly from the same period in 2017 when there were 1,351.


At the midpoint of 2018, the time-loss injury rate had declined to 1.73 time-loss injuries per 100 WCB-covered workers from 1.76 at the end of 2017. 


Acute fatalities over the first two quarters increased over last year, with a total of nine from January to June. There were also nine chronic fatalities in the same period.


WCB Nova Scotia also notes it has been a tragic year in fishing and in construction, despite long-term progress in each of those industries. 


“The human tragedies are a grim undertone to an overall safety culture story that seems to be continuing its slow improvement in our province,” the WCB said.