A line of construction workers’ helmets. Data shows construction to be the most dangerous industry in B.C. (Rawpixel/Pexels)

More than 63,700 seriously injured in B.C. workplaces, tallying over $4 billion in costs over 10 years

White mushroom farming more dangerous than making explosives in B.C.

Between 2007 and 2016 there were 63,702 serious injuries, almost 8 million days lost from work and more than $4 billion of costs in B.C. due to workplace injuries.

A serious injury is described as being “a significant life-altering event where the worker, even after a period of recovery, may be unable to resume a full work or personal lifestyle.”

Serious injuries are different from the number of workplace injuries that were reported, which across B.C. numbered 152,912.

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Fractures are the most common serious injury in B.C. workplaces, followed by laceration, contusion and concussion. Approximately 27,750 people or 43.6 per cent of all serious injuries were fractures. There were 1,438 dislocations and 2,105 amputations.

The most common types of accidents fall into the struck by category at 15,472. Some of the other categories include fall from elevation, fall on same level, struck against, caught in, and involuntary motion.

The most common source of injury is working surfaces at 19,011. There are also buildings and structures, and power tools, which accounted for 2,245 and 1,952 respectively.

Statistically-speaking, construction is the most dangerous industry, while the second is transport at 5,792. Statistics for fishing are incomplete.

In the Capital Region, there were 1,814 serious injuries, which accounted for nine per cent of all reported injuries. This is below the B.C average of 13 per cent. Locally, there were 20,101 time-loss days.

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The Capital Region followed B.C. trends with the most common source of serious injury being from, or occurring on, a working surface, in construction, with wrist, fingers and hand fractures as the most common injury in the struck by category. The most common demographic of injured worker was 24 to 54-year-old males.

There were other surprising results when looking at the industries where injuries occurred in B.C. There were four time-loss claims and one serious injury claim for artificial insemination, although there were only one of each in the latest year statistics were collected in 2016. In 2008, there were 24 time–loss claims and 11 serious injuries while white mushroom farming. The job would seem more dangerous than expected with 2015 and 2016 both recording 22 time–loss claims and eight serious injuries.

Explosive, fireworks and munitions manufacturers recorded an average of three time–loss days and less than one serious injury over the same period.

Going to the gym was a somewhat dangerous pastime with 40 time–loss claims and seven serious injuries recorded in 2015. The rates remained similar throughout the recording period.

There were 16 deaths in the last three years for workers in the Capital Region from 2016 to 2018. Nine were due to exposure to asbestos, one was listed as a motor vehicle incident, two were miscellaneous injuries and four were due to unspecified diseases.



nick.murray@peninsulanewsreview.com

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