OHS Canada Magazine

Saskatchewan reports lowest workplace injury rate in history: WCB data

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March 25, 2024
By OHS Canada

Health & Safety

(Henryk Sadura/Adobe Stock)

The total injury rate in Saskatchewan for 2023 was 3.95 per 100, workers — an almost nine per cent drop from 2022 and the lowest rate in the province’s history, according to the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB).

From 2009 to 2023, the WCB’s total injury rate has decreased by 57.6 per cent, it said.

“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 our Total and Time Loss injury rates continue to come down,” said Gord Dobrowolsky, chair of the WCB.

“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. But 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.”

90 per cent of employers report zero injuries

For the fourth year in a row, 90 per cent of Saskatchewan workplaces had zero fatalities and zero injuries last year. In addition to the Total injury rate decrease in 2023, the Time Loss injury rate also dropped to 1.78 per 100 workers, it said.


This represents a decrease of 12.7 per cent from the 2022 rate of 2.04 per 100 workers.

“An almost 13 per cent decrease in the Time Loss injury rate is certainly significant for 2023,” said WCB CEO Phillip Germain. “While we are moving in a positive direction, we all need to continue prioritizing workplace safety to drive our rates even lower.” Saskatchewan’s Time Loss injury rate is fourth among Canadian provinces.

“We believe every workplace incident is preventable,” Germain said, “and serious injuries represent approximately 11 to 14 per cent of our total claims. Serious injuries account for more than 80 per cent of our claim costs in the province’s compensation system each year. 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.”

New approach

Last year, WorkSafe Saskatchewan, a partnership between the WCB and the Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety, launched the 2023-2028 Fatalities and Serious Injuries Strategy.

Building on the success of the first strategy, this document lays out a new approach to fatalities and serious injuries in Saskatchewan’s workplaces. The strategy is a multi-year plan that uses customer feedback and engagement, as well as claim and injury data. It, outlines two key streams of work from the WCB and the Ministry to reduce serious injuries and fatalities – a regulatory and enforcement stream, and a prevention and learning stream.

“By working together with stakeholders, including employers, unions, researchers and safety associations,” says Germain, “the WorkSafe Saskatchewan partnership is committed to continuing to bring our injury and fatalities rates down and keeping all workers safe on the job.”

In 2023:

  • Total claims accepted decreased by 6.80 per cent to 16,143 from 17,321 in 2022. The total number of workers covered increased to 409,158 in 2023 from 400,392 the previous year.
  • Accepted No Time Loss claims decreased to 8,870 in 2023 from 9,156 in 2022.
  • Accepted Time Loss claims (excluding current-year fatalities) decreased to 7,256 from 8,148 in 2022.

There were 29 workplace fatalities in 2023 compared to 39 in 2022. This is a decrease of 25.64 per cent. These deaths occurred in a variety of Saskatchewan industries. Of the 29 fatalities in 2023, 10 fatalities were due to occupational disease (five of which resulted from exposure to asbestos) and nine fatalities were due to motor vehicle collisions. The remaining 10 fatalities resulted from medical complications due to workplace injuries, and from heart attacks and traumatic events.

“Each of these fatalities represent spouses, children, families, workplaces and communities who have been tragically impacted by these losses,” said 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 their memories, we all must intensify our efforts to make every workplace safe from injuries and fatalities.”


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