Saskatchewan’s total workplace injury rate for 2017 was 5.25 per cent, a 5.4 per cent drop from 2016, according to the Workers’ Compensation Board. Since 2008, this represents an overall drop of 48.6 per cent. The total number of reported claims in 2017 was 28,952, a decrease of 3.34 per cent from 2016.
In 2017, for the second year in a row, 88 per cent of Saskatchewan employers had zero injuries. More than 57 per cent of WCB rate codes had lower total injury rates in 2017 than in 2016.
“Thanks to the injury prevention efforts of workers, employers and safety partners around the province, we have seen significant reductions in Saskatchewan’s injury rates,” said WCB chairperson Gord Dobrowolsky. “Since we launched Mission: Zero in 2008, workers, leaders, employers and the public have responded to make Saskatchewan workplaces safer.”
Despite the total injury rate drop, the time-loss injury rate remained the same at 1.86 per cent in 2017. Time loss claims increased from 7,813 in 2016 to 7,888 in 2017.
“The fact that the 2017 time loss injury rate did not continue to shift downward, as we’ve seen in the past 14 years, may be an indicator that we need to keep working together to effectively identify and control all workplace hazards. Now is not the time to become complacent,” said Dobrowolsky.
According to the Association of Workers’ Compensation Boards in Canada (AWCBC), Saskatchewan had the third highest time loss injury rate in Canada in 2016 and the sixth highest number of lost time claims in Canada. Unfortunately, despite the continued drop in injury rates, there were 27 fatalities in 2017.
“This is a tragedy. Twenty-seven individuals lost their lives and their families are forever impacted,” said WCB CEO Peter Federko. “No workplace injuries are acceptable. We believe Mission: Zero is possible and that keeping our workplaces safe is a shared responsibility. We will continue to work with employers, workers and partners until we achieve zero injuries.”