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Workplace injury rates at all-time low in 2015: WorkplaceNL

| www.cos-mag.com

Newfoundland and Labrador’s lost-time incidence rate has dropped to an all-time low of 1.5 per 100 workers in 2015.The rate, which has held steady for the past three years, looks at lost time due to workplace injury or illness. The rate decreased in nine industries, increased in two industries, and remained the same in one industry.

To put it in context, the drop means there were approximately 200 fewer workers requiring health-care only assistance and 260 fewer workers with short-term claims in 2015 versus the previous year, WorkplaceNL reports.

Workers aged 15 to 24 years reported 1.4 lost-time incidents per 100 workers in 2015, a drop of 18 per cent from five years ago.

“Newfoundland and Labrador workplaces rose to the challenge and reduced the provincial lost-time incidence rate to the lowest level is has ever been,” said Leslie Galway, CEO of WorkplaceNL. “We believe that all work-related injuries and illnesses can be prevented, and we recognize that reducing the injury rate further requires a focused approach. We will continue to work with workplace parties, employer and labour groups, government and safety associations to bring even more workers home safe and healthy.”

On the other end of the spectrum, there were 24 work-related fatalities in 2015. Seven were a result of workplace accidents and 17 were from occupational disease. Despite the unfortunate loss, the number is on the downward trend — there were 29 work-related fatalities, 18 from occupational disease, in 2014.

Another focus area is serious injuries, which can be devastating to workers, their families, and the community as a whole. Serious injuries have only seen a three per cent decrease in the last five years, with 11.3 lost-time incidents per 10,000 workers.

Also an area of concern is that violence in the workplace is on the rise in the province. Lost-time incidents related to assaults or other violent acts in the workplace rose by 69 per cent when compared to rates five years ago. The statistic works out to approximately 7.6 per 10,000 workers experiencing lost time due to violence in the workplace.

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