Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine
A new approach to preventing fatalities and serious workplace injuries was introduced in Canada’s Prairie province in December 2019.
The Fatalities and Serious Injuries strategy is the product of WorkSafe Saskatchewan, which is a partnership between the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) and the Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety. It tackles high-risk industries and associated tasks.
“Safety needs to be a priority in every workplace and across all industries,” said Labour Relations and Workplace Safety Minister Don Morgan.
“Workplace injuries and fatalities are absolutely unacceptable and leave a devastating impact on love ones.”
The strategy will focus on priority industries and occupations, where the greatest number of injuries to workers are reported. Approximately 2,400 Saskatchewan workers are seriously injured each year. From 2010 to 2018, the WCB reported 354 fatalities.
The three-year strategy outlines targets to reducing the number of injuries and the actions that will be taken to achieve these numbers.
The four priority areas are asbestos exposure, work-related motor vehicle crashes, firefighter cancer exposure and falls from heights.
“Workplace safety is everyone’s responsibility and this strategy looks to build on the work that is already taking place to reduce serious injuries and fatalities,” said WCB Board chairperson Gord Dobrowsky.
“If we are to be successful, we need to collaborate with a wide range of stakeholders so workers go home safely each day.”
It seems like the province of Saskatchewan is coming to the table a little late. 354 fatalities seems extremely high and I’m surprised that they didn’t see the need to improve workplace health and safety a little earlier.
If you have been reading my blog over the last nine+ years then you know that the province of Saskatchewan is one of the better provinces dealing with health and safety in the workplace. Their program, “The Road to Zero Energy”, is one of the best lockout and tagout programs anywhere in Canada. Saskatchewan is usually a leader, not a follower.
I do hope that the province of Saskatchewan will look to adopt a similar program like that in Ontario, “Working at Heights”. As an approved provider for the Ontario program, I can vouch for its thoroughness and I do believe the numbers show a decrease in the instructions sector since the program’s inception of April, 2015. It will go a long way in reducing fall accidents/incidents on the Saskatchewan construction sites.
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.
Ensure your workplace is a safe place.
Remember – In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.