Blog Post #1034 – Mixed Report on Return to Work in Nova Scotia

Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine

Nova Scotians are getting injured are getting injured at work less often, but they are taking longer to return to work when they do get injured. This is the key finding of the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) of Nova Scotia’s Report to the Community released on February 25, 2019.

The length of an average claim – or how long injured workers spend off the job – and the total number of days lost to workplace injury are both increasing, according to the report. The index used to measure average claim duration increased 224 days from 117 days at the end of 2017, compared to 115 days in the same quarter of last year. The statistics are based on numbers related to time off the job due to injury that the WCB keeps track of.

Time-loss injuries saw a slight drop to 1,476 from July 1 to September 30, 2018 from 1,500 in the same period in 2017. The time-loss injury rate declined to 1.72 per 100 WCB-covered workers from 1.76 at the end of 2017.

As of the end of September, there were 12 acute fatalities due to traumatic work-related incidents and 17 chronic fatalities resulting from occupational diseases or deaths stemming from health-related conditions like heart attacks.

“Over the last decade, we have built true momentum when it comes to workplace safety in Nova Scotia, and we know that work never ends,” WCB Nova Scotia CEO Stuart MacLean says. “We also know we are facing challenges like an aging workforce and more complex injuries than we have ever seen,” he adds.

The WCB continues to visit workplaces, conduct education and awareness campaigns and work with safety associations to promote occupational health and safety.

WCB Nova Scotia is replacing its old claims and assessment systems with new technology to provide better tools and speed up processes for employers, workers and service providers. “With more efficient systems and our other service upgrades, workers and employers will have more time to focus on prevention and return to work,” MacLean says.

My opinion

I do believe the aging workforce idea weighs heavily in the numbers listed prior. Workers get injured on the job in their 40s and 50s and it takes a little longer for us to heal.

As the baby boomers begin to retire the word is that many are staying in the workforce instead because of social needs, financial needs or because they have no other plans for retirement.

As well, there seems to be a trend in the millennial workforce where working 40 hours a week for 50 weeks a year doesn’t sound attractive at all. I have watched work fairs attempting to find solid employees, and many employers are looking for those middle-aged, those already with a good work ethic.

I do hope this trend is short-lived because there is going to be a great need for workers over the next 20+ years and we cannot afford the extra healthcare costs.

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259 We can also be reached at 

Ensure your workplace is a safe place.

Remember – “In Canada, ALL Accidents are Preventable”

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal

CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.




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