Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine
Workplace injury continues to affect workers, employers and families in Nova Scotia despite progress over the long-term, according to the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) of Nova Scotia’s Community Report for the first quarter of 2018.
“Our results this quarter speak to the need for continued focus on injury prevention and better support for safe and timely return to work,” says Stuart MacLean, the WCB’s chief executive officer.
There were 1,331 time-laws injuries from January to March, down slightly from the same period in 2017 when there were 1,342 injuries. The injury rate for the first quarter, which is calculated as the number of injuries per 100 WCB-covered workers, remains unchanged at 1.76 – same as the rate at the end of 2017. Three people in the province were killed between January and March, according to a WCB statement issued on August 14, 2018.
Workers who get hurt on the job or taking longer to return to work than in recent years. Composite duration index, which measures how long injured workers are off the job, is 120 days at the end of the first quarter – up from 117 days at the end of 2017. Employees in health and social services experience or injuries than any other sector in the first quarter, usually while assisting or moving people in the long-term or home-care settings. There were 389 time-loss claims in these sectors between January and March – three times more than the number of injuries reported by any other industry.
The WCB is improving the way it delivers its services by replacing its aging claims and assessment systems with the industry-leading Guidewire software platform, with a launch registered for early next year. More than 5,500 workers have registered for online service so far, and tens of thousands of secure messages and documents have been shared digitally.
“Part of how we are helping to reduce the impact of injury is by making it easier for workers and employers to do business with us,” MacLean says. “We are investing in better tools and faster processes so that we can provide more convenient online service options.”
The workforce is getting older, people are staying on the job longer, and in the healthcare industry, especially PSW’s (personal support workers) the return to work timeframe has been expanded because of the strain and stress, both repetitive and singular, and their day-to-day work dealing with patients that are not very mobile.
Nova Scotia is not the only province but is having issues with healthcare workers. Ontario, for one, continues to deal with healthcare injuries on a regular basis.
Training for manual lifting of patients is essential and refresher should be yearly. The need for workers to be in better shape, have access to better training and incentives would go a long way in reducing healthcare long-term injuries.
Some of the types of injuries are listed here:
- Contact with-struck by object;
- Fires and explosions;
- Musculoskeletal disorders: client handling; and
- Musculoskeletal disorders: other
Much of the problem needs to identify the greatest need and place the provincial effort there. Falls and Musculoskeletal disorders make up the largest amount of injuries and threats to injuries in the healthcare sector.
Ensure your workplace is a safe place.
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‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.