Safety report shows small decline in injuries in Sask. Rivers

The Sask Rivers Education Centre/ Daily Herald File Photo

Report covers non-teaching staff in the division

The number of workplace incidents causing injury in the Saskatchewan Rivers Public School Division declined during 2021, according to a safety report provided at the school board’s regular meeting on March 14.

Education director Robert Bratvold gives the report each year. It outlines Workers Compensation Board (WCB) data for 2021. The report showed that incidents causing injury declined from 20 in 2020 to 19 in 2021. There were 45 injuries reported in 2019.

“There are some positive things within that in terms of total lost days to total injury that are really trending down and that’s a positive,” Bratvold said.

WCB data only includes injuries for non-teaching staff such as caretakers, maintenance personnel, library clerks, and educational assistants, among several others. Educational assistants make up the largest number in that group with 11 employees.

The data set included information on 986 school division employees. It shows 473 days lost to injury and 19 total injury claims.

“I would think it is almost all CUPE and out of scope that would be the group,” Bratvold said. “There is probably about 1,000 people that this covers. If you think about that, so 1,000 people working every day and we had 19 injury claims over the course of a year, that’s pretty significant.

“The number we are aiming for is zero, so that shows some trends in a positive direction.”

The WCB calendar year is from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 and differs from the school calendar. The report had to be tabled due to time constraints at previous meetings.

The purpose of the report is to highlight some of the key indicators that provide a snapshot of the current injury total, as well as combined injuries over time.

“It was good to get that information before the board so they can see the current state of things (and) also have a sense of the kinds of things that we are doing,” Bratvold said.

The division safety team consists of the Superintendent of Facilities, Human Resources Manager and Director of Education.

Bratvold said he’s pleased with how the school-level OHS committees tackled potential safety issues and investigated safety concerns.

“The OHS committees, they do some really fabulous work to make sure that culture of safety is present in our school, in our bus garage and education centre,” Bratvold said.

Saskatchewan Rivers is one of the only school divisions that is COR Certified. In support of that certification, an external audit is completed every three years. These external audits are one of the many pieces that contribute to their safety program.

Key actions for the next year include providing advice and direction on safety measures to OHS committees and ensuring that Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) committees remain compliant and operate effectively among other items.