A study of work place fatalities
The time loss injury rate in the province fell to 1.86 per cent compared to 2.07 per cent the previous year. In 2016 there were 31 workplace fatalities, compared to 32 the previous year.
- Fourteen were disease-related, with 13 being related to asbestos.
- Nine were caused by workplace accidents and other trauma including falls. This number also includes the La Loche school shooting in January, in which a teacher and teacher’s aide were killed.
- Four were caused by vehicle accidents.
- One was a heart attack.
- Three were related to medical complications from previous workplace injuries.
“There’s really not much we can do about those asbestos claims where the exposures occurred. But what we can do is take preventative action today to try and prevent future exposures to asbestos fibres and the manifestation of illnesses and diseases moving forward,” said Peter Federko, WCB CEO.
To try and reduce the number of fatalities, WCB has partnered with the University of Saskatchewan and ISM Canada on a study. The U of S will study the WCB’s historical data and then ISM will compare the data with crime statistics, weather and other stats.
“(This is) so that we can see closer correlations between events and data owned by someone else that we don’t have. Just to become more informed,” Federko said.
WCB will then use the results to design new safety campaigns and programs.
The report also included how days missed due to workplace accidents rose last year. The average duration was 43.07 days compared to 38.92 in 2015. This increase is due to changes in the severity of workplace accidents.
“The average is going to go up because you’re only counting the very serious injuries that are now left in your demographic. So that accounts for about two thirds of what we’ve seen in terms of the increase in duration. The other third is actual changing severity of the claim itself,” Federko said.
On the operating side of things, WCB was able to be more efficient with funding for the WorkSafe Saskatchewan program. Funding remained at $2.2 million, with more safety campaigns being able to be run due to using shared resources. WorkSafe used a safety campaign from WorkSafeBC. The zero is the right number campaign had previously been shown in British Columbia.
“Because B.C. had incurred the production costs and were gracious enough to allow us to use that, we didn’t incur any production costs in the development of that particular ad other than to Saskatchewanize,” Federko said.
WCB said that on average, a campaign of that kind would cost approximately $200,000 to make, but instead only cost around $6,000.