Fewer injuries are happening at Saskatchewan workplaces since the introduction of Mission: Zero, but there is still more to be done to get the injury rate to zero in the province, which is its goal.
Many workplaces in Saskatchewan saw no one hurt on the job last year. In fact, 88 per cent of Saskatchewan employers had zero injuries, according to 2016 figures released by the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board.
The numbers show the total workplace injury rate for 2016 was 5.55 per cent, which is an 11.9 per cent drop from a year earlier. That means 5.55 per cent of Saskatchewan’s workforce experienced an injury on the job that year. Saskatchewan is now Canada’s third-highest for workplaces injuries, down from being number two in the country.
Other measures of injuries in workplaces are down too. The Time Loss injury rate is down to 1.86 per cent from 2.07 per cent. That’s the lowest it’s been in 64 years. Time loss claims dropped by 604 to 7,814 claims. Total claims fell by 8.69 per cent.
This improvement demonstrates the commitment of leaders, employers and employees to safety in their workplaces. Their attention and efforts are to be applauded.
But more work remains. Thirty-one people lost their lives on the job last year. One is too many. The number of workplace fatalities is dropping, but zero is the only acceptable number.
Safety is a shared responsibility. Mission: Zero focuses on bringing together leaders, employers and the public to reduce the injury rates in Saskatchewan.
Bringing people together helps bring awareness to the devastation of injuries and fatalities and information about how to prevent them. Learning ways to keep employees safe can come from training resources and tools, such as those offered by WorkSafe Saskatchewan and others.
Relationships help build a culture that values health and safety, which is the intent of the Saskatchewan Health & Safety Leadership Charter through Safe Saskatchewan. Leaders can discuss their views and efforts to eliminate injuries in their workplaces, helping each other learn about improvements that can be implemented in their own organizations, homes and communities.
Employers and employees can work out their responsibilities and environments to address hazards and change values. Students can begin learning some of the lessons while still in school. Community members can engage one another to tackle issues in their cities, towns and villages resulting in harm.
Looking out for one another to prevent loss and grief will get Saskatchewan to zero injuries.
Since Mission: Zero was launched in 2008, the rate of injuries at workplaces has been dropping. That year, the total injury rate was 10.21 percent. Other measures of injuries have been consistently dropping since that year, even though the number employers registered with the WCB has climbed as has the number of employees covered.
Last year, there were 420,279 Saskatchewan workers covered by the WCB. Each one of them have people who want them to finish their work day unharmed and arrive home safe and healthy. Efforts aimed at bringing people together to get everyone in Saskatchewan through each day without an injury will continue to get the injury rate to zero and keep it there.