May 1, 2018
The following statement was given today in the House of Assembly by the Honourable Sherry Gambin-Walsh, Minister of Service NL.
Lost-time Incidence Rate Remains Low in the Province
Mr. Speaker, for the third consecutive year in Newfoundland and Labrador, the lost-time incidence rate due to workplace injury or illness has remained at an all-time low of 1.5 per 100 workers, among the lowest in Canada. The rate among 15 to 24 year-old workers also remained stable for the second consecutive year at 1.3 per 100 workers, remaining below the overall provincial rate. It is important that we help instill a culture of safe work practices at a young age, and the statistics indicate our efforts are working.
There were small declines in new claims, including approximately 200 less short-term claims and 160 less health-care only claims in 2017 versus 2016. Unfortunately, there were 25 work-related fatalities in 2017, five accidental and 20 from occupational disease. As I have said numerous times, one fatality is one too many.
In February of this year, the Occupational Health and Safety Division of my department, in conjunction with WorkplaceNL, released a new five-year workplace injury prevention plan. It contains 50 priorities to be implemented for 2018-2022, with a core focus on serious injury and occupational disease prevention.
Mr. Speaker, while the statistics released by WorkplaceNL tell a successful story in our province, there is still a need for continued vigilance. It is our responsibility as leaders, employers, and employees to ensure our workplaces are safe. Our government will continue to work with safety partners across the province in an effort to further reduce serious injuries and workplace incidents.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
2018 05 01 2:00 p.m.