In reading the report, it is important to be mindful of the data limitations (e.g., under-reporting, jurisdictional differences in definitions, growing use of modified work). The highlights include:
- Injury-related fatalities: Among provinces with over 100,000 workers, Saskatchewan’s five-year average injury fatality rate ranks highest (6.3 deaths per 100,000 workers) followed by Alberta (3.8 per 100,000) and Newfoundland and Labrador (3.2 per 100,000). (p.3)
- Disease-related fatalities: Among provinces with over 100,000 workers, Newfoundland and Labrador has the highest five-year average occupational disease fatality rate (8.3 deaths per 100,000 workers) followed by Nova Scotia (5.1 per 100,000), and Alberta and British Columbia (both 3.7 per 100,000). (p. 3)
- Lost-time claim injury rates: Among provinces with over 100,000 workers, Manitoba had the highest five-year average injury rate (3.10 injuries per 100 workers) followed by Saskatchewan (2.35 per 100), and British Columbia (2.27 per 100). (p. 4)
What there graphs show is relatively little improvement in injury and fatality outcomes in the recent past. While the rates are low, they often mask large numbers. For example, in 2016 there were 144 occupational fatalities and 23,649 lost-time claims.
The Parkland Institute will be releasing some Alberta specific-data about occupational health and safety on Friday and I’ll summarize that next Tuesday.
-- Bob Barnetson