Canadian Contractor

John Bleasby   

Who’s getting hurt at work?

Canadian Contractor

Injuries are high across various sectors, but it’s not always construction at the top

The Association of Workers’ Compensation Boards of Canada has complied nationwide statistics from injuries and deaths in 2017 that provides useful insight into the nature of workplace dangers. It’s interesting to observe how construction fares against other industries monitored by these associations.

Time Lost
It seems the older one gets, the more time one loses away from work due to injury. While the numbers ramp up towards age 60, notice how they drop off sharply thereafter. Obviously retirements are a factor. The more important lesson learned perhaps is that experience on the job does not always translate into higher safety records. Or, it could be that the older one gets, the more prone to injury one becomes, and the longer it takes to recover.

What causes the time lost?
Far and away the most probable cause of time lost from work results from “Bodily Reaction and Exertion.” That might suggest, in combination with the Time Lost results, that older bodies are more likely to experience muscular or skeletal injuries than younger bodies. Ah, the joys of being young!



Where are most of the injuries?
It may not be surprising to those in the residential building and renovation trades that injuries to the trunk top the list of injury location. Think bad backs. Upper extremities might be pulled shoulders. These would be familiar to most of our readers.

Who is claiming the most Time Lost?
If you thought working in Health and Social Services was a pretty safe career in terms of time lost for work, you’d be wrong — it’s number one. Mind you, construction does come in number 4.

Fatalities  — Construction is (sadly) well ahead
This is a category the construction industry would like to see reduced.  Construction is far and away the leading industry in what is, of course, the worst of all possible outcomes.

Safety of employees has to be the primary concern of any contractor. If your company doesn’t already have an employee safety committee that can receive feedback from employees and send out clear safety protocol messages, maybe it’s time!


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