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N.L. workplace injury rates at historic low?

By COS staff
| www.cos-mag.com

The lost-time incidence rate in Newfoundland and Labrador remained at the historic low of 1.6 per 100 workers in 2013, the same as 2012.

The rate had been decreasing steadily for 13 years, and has improved dramatically from its high of 5.2 per 100 workers in 1989. For 2013, 92.1 per cent of employers in the province are injury-free, up from 91.8 per cent in 2012, according to the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission (WHSCC). These improvements are significant given that annual average employment in the province is rising. 

“All stakeholders are providing important leadership around improving our safety culture and we’re seeing tangible results," said Dan Crummell, minister of Service NL and minister responsible for the WHSCC. Safety is everyone’s responsibility and together we can prevent injuries in our workplaces."

Young workers, aged 15 to 24 years, continue to lead the province in reducing workplace injuries. For 2013, youth reported 1.5 lost-time incidents per 100 workers, up slightly from 1.4 in 2012. This rate continues to trend below the provincial injury rate.

Lost-time incidents for falls from heights has decreased to 8.5 per 10,000 workers, down slightly from 8.6 in 2012 and down significantly from 11.8 five years ago.

“We strongly believe that workplace related injuries and illnesses can be prevented. Every worker deserves to come home safely at the end of their work day,” said Leslie Galway, CEO, WHSCC. “We will continue to work with our stakeholders to focus on awareness and training to help prevent injuries and occupational disease."

Unfortunately, there were 30 fatalities in 2013, five as a result of workplace accidents and 25 from occupational illnesses. This is up from a total of 26 workplace fatalities, 20 from occupational disease, reported for 2012. 

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