REGINA – Figures from the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board show the number of jobsite fatalities in the province in 2018 rose 78 per cent from the previous year.
The figures – released by the board on Thursday – indicate 48 people lost their lives last year, compared to 27 the year before.
Vehicle collisions and occupational diseases were listed among the top causes of death.
Last year’s fatality rate was above the 15-year average of 37 deaths per year.
As well, the total number of workplace injuries in 2018 rose by three per cent.
Despite the increases, the board says 88 per cent of employers in Saskatchewan had zero injuries or deaths.
“This is devastating for our province,” board CEO Peter Federko said in a statement. “Behind every statistic is a loved one who will never come home to their family.”
A breakdown of the figures shows the total injury rate in 2018 was 5.44 per 100 workers, an increase of 3.6 per cent from 2017. The time-loss injury rate increased to 1.99 per 100 workers, while total claims accepted by the WCB reached 22,371.
The board said it’s working with the provincial government and WorkSafe Saskatchewan to continue training, awareness campaigns and other initiatives in an effort to lower the numbers.
WorkSafe is a partnership between the WCB and the Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety.
“Keeping our workplaces safe is a shared responsibility,” board chairman Gord Dobrowolsky said in the release. “We will keep working with employers, workers and partners until we achieve zero injuries and zero fatalities.”