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Commission responds to statements in the media concerning reduction in injuries
Tuesday, April 14, 2009

ST. JOHN’S - Statements made in the media by the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour and the Injured Workers’ Association regarding the decline in workplace injuries as reported by the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission (the Commission), may be misleading.

Of the total number of claims reported to the Commission annually, year over year, approximately 96 per cent are accepted. The remaining four per cent (300-400 claims) were not accepted, as there was no evidence that these were work-related injuries.

“We can only make decisions on claims that are reported to the Commission, and we do not have specific evidence that injuries are going unreported,” said Tom Mahoney, Chief Executive Officer (Acting).

“In fact, what we have witnessed over the past number of years is a tremendous number of people being trained in health and safety in our province’s workplaces. We believe the continued decline is largely attributable to this,” added Mr. Mahoney. “The result is that people are now more than ever aware of their rights and responsibilities. One of those rights and responsibilities is for workers and employers to report incidents and injuries in the workplace. The Commission cannot substantiate public statements made without evidence where others contend ‘some injuries go unreported but we don’t know how many’.

The Commission’s report of a seven per cent reduction in workplace injuries from 2007 to 2008 is accurate.

Kathy Dicks-Peyton, ABC
Manager of Communications and Event Planning
Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission
Telephone: 709-778-1566 or 1-800-563-9000


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