Blog Post #1102 – Report(s) Call for Improvement in Nova Scotia

Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine

Although Nova Scotia has made long-term progress over the last 10 years in reducing the effects of workplace injuries on families, the province continues to face current challenges. That is the conclusion of two recent reports from the Worker’s Compensation Board of Nova Scotia. (WCB)

The WCB released the 2019 Q1 Report to the Community and its 2018 Annual Report on August 08, 2019, according to a press release from the Board. During the first three months of this year, the reports note there was a notable increase in both the number of days lost to workplace injury and the average duration of a claim in Nova Scotia. There was also a small increase in the number of time-loss injuries, in part because of an icy winter that resulted in more slips, trips, and falls.

“It’s taking longer to achieve return-to-work when workers are hurt on the job,” says WCB CEO Stuart MacLean. “one reason for that is that the face of workplace injury is changing. Claims today are often more complex. The population is older, and the injury itself is often not straightforward and much more likely to be a mix of physical injury and mental-health considerations.”

In its research, the WCB increased the index that it used to measure average claim duration, from 127 days at the end of last year 228. The duration was only 120 days in the same quarter in 2018.

Although the time-loss injury rate in Nova Scotia hit historical low of 1.72 time-loss injuries per 100 WCB-covered workers at the end of last year, the rate rose to 1.77 in the first quarter of 2019. In addition, there was a significant increase in claims for work-related psychological injuries, a possible result of new presumptive legislation for post–traumatic stress disorder in front-line in emergency-response workers.

From January to March 2019, there were eight work-related fatalities in Nova Scotia, the WCB says. Two of those deaths were caused by traumatic injuries, while six resulted from occupational disease or health conditions.

The WCB reports also reveal that the most common type of workplace injury over the first quarter of 2019 in the province was muscle-strain injury from lifting; there were 872 of these injuries reported from January to March. Over the same period, the WCB paid out 63 million in claims, and it received a total of 1517 time-loss claims.

My opinion

As the workforce continues to get older, there will be more muscle related injuries. Strains and sprains are going to continue to be on the rise unless all workers work towards a better health regimen including a good diet, exercise, reduce stress and lots of restful sleep.

I also believe that the new workforce, those 18 to 23 are not staying on a job for a very long time and the workforce continually has to train and retrain new employees. It is important to note that the dedication level in most new employees is at the lowest levels in years. No one seems to want to stay with the business for 20+ years like we did, and our parents did over the past 50 or so years. Many employers are actually hiring middle-age to improve the absentee rate that seems to be so high in many companies today.

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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