Workplace Deaths on the Rise in Saskatchewan
Every year, hundreds of workers are killed on the job, while thousands more are injured. And the numbers keep creeping up rather than going down.
In 2017, there were 951 reported workplace fatalities in Canada, compared with 904 in 2016 and 852 in 2015. Most workplace fatalities happened to men (920 out of 951), and 56 percent of workers killed were over the age of 64. The most dangerous occupation classification was trades/transport/equipment operator, with 486 fatalities across all industries. Construction once again claimed the top spot for deadliest industry, with 217 fatalities.
There were also 251,625 lost-time claims accepted in 2017, up from 240,682 in 2016 and 232,629 in 2015.
Numbers worse for Saskatchewan
While the national numbers are only available for 2017, Saskatchewan has released its 2018 numbers, and the results are grim. Saskatchewan’s total injury rate for 2018 was 5.44 per 100 workers, up 3.6 percent from 2017. The lost-time injury rate rose to 1.99 per 100 workers, from 1.86 in 2017.
In 2018, there were 48 fatalities, an increase of 78 percent from 2017 and much higher than the yearly average of 37. The top killers were occupational diseases and motor vehicle collisions. In spite of the spike in injuries and fatalities, 88 percent of employers achieved zero injuries or fatalities in 2018. So what can workers and employers do to combat these sobering statistics?
- Put in place and follow policies and guidelines to work safe.
- Ensure that hazards are identified and mitigated and that workers have the training they need to stay safe.
- Watch each other’s back and communicate with one another.
- Finally, remember that you can refuse unsafe work.