Government launches new strategy to reduce number of workplace injuries, deaths
REGINA -- Regina Fire and Protective Services is partnering with the Government of Saskatchewan and Saskatchewan's Worker's Compensation Board to launch a new strategy that aims to reduce the number of work place related injuries and fatalities.
The three-year strategy titled, Fatalities and Serious Injuries Strategy will focus on determining why the incidents happen and how they can be prevented.
Regina Fire is putting a focus on the risk of cancer that comes with being a firefighter.
"I think it’s due to just the risks they and the environment that they are working in,” Regina Fire Chief, Layne Jackson said. “They’re working in an uncontrolled environment and they're trying to mitigate a situation that's uncontrolled environment. We ask them to enter into those circumstances so then they are exposed. So what we want to do is limit that exposure they best that we can. Technology and advancements is giving us an opportunity to do that."
The Government of Saskatchewan said from 2010-2018, 354 workers in Saskatchewan died on the job or as a result of their work place. It also said, the number of serious injuries in the province has been going down since 2010, but still in 2018 around 2,400 workers in the province were seriously injured on the job.
"The idea of well, it can’t happen to me, it's someone else that it can happen too,” Chair of Saskatchewan’s Workers' Compensation Board Gord Dobrowolsky said. “No, it can happen to you and unfortunately it does happen to you.
“Everyone’s accident is predictable and preventable.”
This strategy will also focus on four priority areas which are asbestos exposure, work related motor vehicle crashes, fire fighter cancer exposure and falls from heights.
“At of the end of October, 29 people lost their lives in this province simply by going to work,” Dobrowolsky said. “Granted 11 of those were asbestos, where the inhaling of asbestos particles happened many years ago but it’s still a workplace injury and very tragic. Every year, unfortunately there are 30 or so workplace fatalities and it’s really bothersome to us.”
The government also said combatting these numbers is good business.
"The number of 2,400 workers per year being injured is a huge cost to the work force and to the province because there are health costs that goes with those people as well as the strain and grief that goes to those families," said Minister of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety Don Morgan. “I think we owe it to those families to do everything we can to ensure that those workers have the best chance of coming home safe and it’s a good business decision as well.”