Saskatchewan WCB releases 2023 workplace injury statistics

Daily Herald file photo. A tradesman works on a house in Prince Albert in this Daily Herald file photo.

Workplace injury statistics released by the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) on Tuesday show a nine per cent decrease in the province’s injury rate in 2023.

The WCB reported 3.95 out of 100 workers were injured in 2023. That’s the lowest injury rate in Saskatchewan’s history. The total injury rate has decreased 57.62 percent since 2009.

“Through the WorkSafe Saskatchewan partnership with the Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety, as a province, we are on the right track as we see out total and time loss injury rates continue to come down,” WCB chair Gord Dobrowolsky said in a press release. “This is thanks to the combined efforts of workers, employers, our safety associations, safety leaders across the province and labour, including the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour and the Saskatchewan Building Trades. Even one injury is too many, so there is still much to do to ensure that every worker in Saskatchewan is able to come home safely at the end of the day.”

Roughly 90 percent of Saskatchewan workplaces reported zero fatalities and zero injuries last year. There were 29 workplace fatalities in 2023, down from 39 in 2022. Of the 29 fatalities, 10 were due to occupational disease, nine fatalities were due to vehicle collisions, and 10 were due to medical complications arising from workplace injuries.

“Each of these fatalities represent spouses, children, families, workplaces and communities who have been tragically impacted by these losses,” says Dobrowolsky. “We need to remember the 29 workers in our province who lost their lives because of a work-related injury last year. To honour those memories, we all must intensify our efforts to make every workplace safe.”

The amount of time lost due to injuries also declined in 2023. The WCB reported a 13 per cent decrease from the year before. WCB CEO Phillip Germain said that’s a significant drop.

While we are moving in a positive direction, we all need to continue prioritizing workplace safety to drive our rates even lower,” Germain said in a press release. “We believe every workplace incident is preventable…. We will not rest until Saskatchewan records no workplace fatalities and the lowest serious injury rate in Canada. We believe we are on the right track to get there.”

Serious injuries represented 11-14 per cent of all WCB total claims, Germain said. Those injuries accounted for roughly 80 per cent of all claim costs.