Regina, Sask., March 11, 2020 – The Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) released its injury statistics today announcing that the 2019 workplace injury rates have decreased. The workplace Total injury rate for 2019 was 4.95 per 100 workers, a nine per cent decrease from 2018. Since 2008, the workplace Total injury rate has dropped by 51.5 per cent.
“Last year, fewer people and their families were affected because someone was hurt at work. Employers, workers, safety leaders and labour unions all around the province have worked diligently to bring down our injury rates,” said WCB chairperson Gord Dobrowolsky. “For the fourth year in a row, 88 per cent of Saskatchewan workplaces had zero injuries and zero fatalities. Our workplace injury rate has dropped from being the second highest in the country to being the fourth highest among Canadian provinces. What this suggests is that we’ve made improvements, but we all have more work to do.”
In 2019, the Time Loss injury rate decreased to 1.86 per 100 workers, a decrease of 0.13 per 100 workers, or by 6.53 per cent, from the 2018 rate of 1.99 per 100 workers. While 2019’s Time Loss injury rate is lower than 2018’s, it is consistent with the injury rates of 2017 and 2016.
“Even though last year’s injury rates decreased, the Time Loss injury rate is the same as it was a few years ago. While the 2019 rate is an improvement, it also means that we cannot become complacent in our efforts to make all workplaces safe in our province,” said Dobrowolsky.
Claims have also decreased:
- Total claims accepted decreased by four per cent, from 22,371 in 2018 to 21,473 in 2019. The total number of workers covered increased from 410,600 in 2018 to 433,622 in 2019.
- Accepted No Time Loss claims decreased from 14,192 in 2018 to 13,415 in 2019.
- Accepted Time Loss claims decreased from 8,151 in 2018 to 8,036 in 2019.
There were 36 workplace fatalities in 2019, compared to 48 in 2018. This is a decrease of 25 per cent. These deaths occurred in a variety of Saskatchewan industries.
“Every one of the 36 deaths that occurred in 2019 has had a shattering impact on their families and communities,” said the WCB’s CEO Phil Germain. “We must continue to focus on preventing workplace deaths and serious injuries and eliminate this suffering in our province.”
WorkSafe Saskatchewan, the partnership between the WCB and the Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety, launched the Fatalities and Serious Injuries Strategy in December 2019. The strategy was developed by WorkSafe, along with employer and labour representatives, to prioritize and address the high-risk industries, occupations and the tasks within those industries that are resulting in these fatalities and serious injuries.
WorkSafe is focusing on four priorities regarding fatalities – asbestos exposures, work-related motor vehicle crashes, firefighter cancer exposures and falls from heights in the construction industry.
“The Fatalities and Serious Injuries strategy represents our plan to reduce the number of workers killed and seriously injured on the job,” said Germain. “With all of us working together, we can keep bringing our injury rates down and make sure all of our workers stay safe on the job so they can go home to their families.”
The strategy is available at www.worksafesask.ca/prevention/serious-injuries-and-fatalities.