Sask. workplace fatalities up 78% in 2018: WCB

Saskatchewan saw a 78 per cent increase in workplace fatalities in 2018, the Workers’ Compensation Board announced on Thursday.

There were 48 workplace deaths last year. The top causes of the fatalities were “occupational diseases” and vehicle collisions.

“This is devastating for our province. Behind every statistic is a loved one who will never come home to their family. The impact of losing someone dear to us is devastating,” said WCB CEO Peter Federko in a press release.

The average annual number of workplace fatalities over the last 15 years is about 37. There were 27 workplace deaths in 2017, the lowest during that 15-year span. 

Nearly 90 per cent of the province’s employers achieved zero injuries, the press release noted.

There were 22,371 claims accepted in 2018 by the WCB.

The WCB developed a definition for “serious injury”  in 2018 and found about 2,400 injuries fit the definition each year between 2015 and 2017.

Serious injuries represented about 10 per cent of all injuries and 75 per cent of compensation days paid in 2017 for claims registered that year.