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Lost-time injury rate plateaued at historic low in 2014
Tuesday, April 28, 2015

St. John’s, NL For the third consecutive year, the lost-time incidence rate in Newfoundland and Labrador has remained at the historic low of 1.6 per 100 workers in 2014. The rate had been decreasing steadily for 13 years, and has improved dramatically from its high of 5.2 per 100 workers in 1989.  

“While our ultimate goal would be to not have any workplace injuries our province, the historic low we are currently experiencing is very encouraging,” said the Honourable Sandy Collins, Minister responsible for the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission. “It is incumbent upon us as a government, as well as workers and employers, to continue to build upon our efforts to date to promote safe work habits and create even more awareness around how to prevent workplace injuries from both an employer and employee perspective.”  

Other lost-time incidence rates also stabilized in 2014. For young workers aged 15-24 the rate remained at 1.5 and the rate relating to soft-tissue injuries remained at 1.1 per 100 workers. As well, 92.2 per cent of employers were injury-free in 2014, which is consistent with 92.1 per cent in 2013.  

“We are extremely pleased that the lost-time incidence rate is the lowest that it has ever been in Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Leslie Galway, CEO, Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission (the Commission). “But, we are concerned that it has now plateaued. Our challenge as a province, as employers and as workers is to find ways to push that rate even lower so that there are fewer people getting hurt or becoming ill on the job.” 

Unfortunately, there were 29 fatalities in 2014, 11 as a result of workplace accidents and 18 from occupational disease. In 2013, there were 30 workplace fatalities, 25 from occupational disease. Today, April 28, is the National Day of Mourning where we remember those who have lost their lives or were injured at work. 

“National Day of Mourning provides an opportunity to remember those affected by workplace injuries, illnesses, and fatalities, and it emphasizes the need to promote a strong safety culture at work and at home,” said the Honourable Dan Crummell, Minister of Service NL. “Our government has proudly partnered with employers and labor groups in education and enforcement initiatives aimed at enhancing safety for workers throughout the province, and we remain committed to continuing this important work.”  

The lost-time incidence rate decreased in six industries, increased in five industries and remained the same in 3 industries. Fact sheets showing the lost-time incidence rate and other statistics per industry are now available via www.whscc.nl.ca/prevention/PREV_IndustryFactSheets.whscc

The lost-time incidence rate represents the number of injured workers who received compensation while missing time from work due to a workplace incident or accident.  

The Commission offers all employers and workers a number of occupational health and safety programs and services to assist in preventing workplace accidents and injuries in particular industries. Please call toll-free 1-800-563-9000 or 778-1000 for information.  

About the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission

Serving approximately 13,000 injured workers and more than 19,000 employers, the Commission is an employer-funded, no fault insurance system that promotes safe and healthy workplaces, provides return-to-work programs and offers fair compensation to injured workers and their dependents.

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Media contact:
Carla Riggs, Director of Communications
Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission

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