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Saskatchewan reports highest workplace deaths in 30 years


Saskatchewan had more workplace deaths in 2012 than it has had for more than 30 years, according to the province’s workers’ compensation board.

In its annual report, the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) says 60 people died on the job in 2012.

“It is difficult to talk about our year-end results, when we know that 60 families, 60 workplaces and communities grieved a loss last year,” says WCB chairperson David Eberle. “What each one of us should be talking about is what we can do to make certain this never happens again.”

The cause of death varied among the fatalities, but each of the WCB’s 10 industry classes experienced at least one workplace death in 2012. The construction industry had the highest number of deaths at 14 fatalities. Five workplace deaths involved youth, which is an increase from the two reported deaths in 2011.

Occupational disease, such as asbestos-related cancer caused by exposure years prior, caused 19 deaths in 2012. Heart attacks were the cause of 15 deaths.

Based on 2012 statistics, “Saskatchewan holds the frightening position of being second worst in Canada” for workplace injuries behind only Manitoba, the report says.

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