Wednesday, April 26, 2017

New report on occupational fatalities

Just in time for the Day of Mourning, University of Regina Prof Sean Tucker has posted a province-by-province analysis of occupational fatalities in Canada. This is a useful analysis (most other analyses are at the national level) that also breaks out deaths due to workplace incidents and those caused by occupational diseases.

Tucker does a good job of identifying the data limitations (it is WCB data and most of it least a year old). Alberta's data is represented below. Fatalities are up in the 2016 data I have seen (this figure stops in 2015). The most striking feature of this figure is the significant rate of fatality due to occupational disease.

The report also has some useful rankings by province and territory (although high fatality rates in the territories skew the results some). Among provinces, Alberta had the second highest rate of fatalities per 100,000 workers between 2010 and 2015. Alberta had the sixth highest rate of occupational disease fatalities during this same period. This second rate has been trending upwards in Alberta over time.

What this suggests is that additional attention to reducing exposure to biological and chemical agents should be an important part of any OHS improvements in Alberta.

-- Bob Barnetson

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