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MEDIA RELEASE: Workplace Violence 5th Highest Cause of Injury in Saskatchewan

Apr
27

For Immediate Release
April 27, 2017

Workplace Violence 5th Highest Cause of Injury in Saskatchewan

• Violence responsible for 4% of workplace injuries reported to WCB in 2016
• 936 claims reported due to violence
• 2 workplace deaths in 2016 due to violence

REGINA, SK – The Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) and the Saskatchewan Association of Safe Workplaces in Health (SASWH) announced a province-wide initiative today to address workplace injuries due to violence.

“Workers shouldn’t go to work and feel threatened by violence,” says Shelly McFadden, Director of Prevention at the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB). “That’s why the WCB is partnering in this violence prevention initiative.”

There were 936 claims reported to the WCB due to violence in 2016. WCB has identified five sectors where acts of violence and aggression are within the top five causes of injury to workers: Healthcare, Social Services, Education, Hospitality, Policing and Corrections. The development of the Provincial Violence Prevention Framework will be led by SASWH.

SASWH has been tracking and investigating these incidents in healthcare. “Violence in the workplace, whether it is a physical attack or psychological or verbal violence, is a threat to Saskatchewan workers, and a growing problem for supervisors and employers,” says Sandra Cripps, Chief Executive Officer of SASWH. She explains the threat of violence has an ongoing emotional toll on workers. “The emotional cost of violence in the workplace is far higher than any estimated financial cost.”

The WCB and SASWH presented the initiative to leaders in key industries at a meeting in Regina on April 27. The Provincial Violence Prevention Framework includes a toolkit that will be piloted in facilities in Saskatchewan health regions. Tools include information, training, manuals, web content and videos for employers and workers.

McFadden says, “Over 900 people were hurt last year due to acts of violence. This is unacceptable. These injuries are preventable. We want to support employers and workers by ensuring they have access to tools and resources that they can use to prevent violent incidents.”

The Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL) is supportive of the initiative. Lori Johb, Chair of the SASWH Board of Directors and SFL Secretary-Treasurer, says, “Everyone has the right to a safe and healthy workplace. This initiative is an important step to raising awareness about the issue of violence in order to prevent these injuries.”

The WCB is committed to assisting Saskatchewan workers and employers in achieving Mission: Zero.

Top 5 Occupations with Injuries by Violence (5 year total)

  1. Nurse Aides, Orderlies and Patient Service Associates
  2. Community and Social Service Workers
  3. Registered Nurses
  4. Police Officers (except commissioned)
  5. Security Guards and Related Occupations

Top 5 Causes of Injury by Violent Acts (5 year total)

  1. Health care patient or resident of a health care facility
  2. Person (Not self-inflicted)
  3. Dogs
  4. Prison inmates
  5. Students

FAST FACTS

In 2016:

  • Violence was the 5th highest cause of workplace injuries.
  • 3.84% of the time loss injuries were due to violence.
  • 4% of the total workplace were attributed to violence.
  • There were 936 claims because of violence.
  • 2 workplace deaths were due to violence.
  • In the Healthcare industry, 8.84% of the time loss injuries were caused by assaults, violent acts, attacks and harassment. Violence was the 4th highest cause of injury in that industry.
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For more information, please contact:

Heather Getz
Manager, Social Marketing
Communications
Saskatchewan Workers' Compensation Board
Phone: 306.787.4651
hgetz@wcbsask.com

WorkSafe Saskatchewan is an injury prevention and workplace safety partnership between the WCB and the Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety. Through the partnership, both agencies offer programs and support that help employers and workers develop workplace health and safety programs. Visit www.worksafesask.ca or phone 1.800.667.7590 to learn more.

Mission: Zero is an initiative to eliminate all injuries in Saskatchewan. Launched in 2008, the Mission: Zero campaign and programs drive home the effects of injuries and the importance of safety and injury prevention at home, work and play. The intent behind Mission: Zero is to bring about a significant reduction in the provincial injury rate.