Paulie Chinna: Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission 2022 Identifying Injury Trends and Actions Taken

Ministers' Statements and Speeches

Yellowknife — February 28, 2023

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Mr. Speaker, Northerners should be able to expect to return home at the end of each work day uninjured and healthy. In 2022, the Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission, or WSCC, received 1,722 reports of injury from workers. This represents a 2.1% decrease from the previous year. Awareness of workplace hazards and safety trends in the Northwest Territories can help ensure that workers return home safe and healthy every day. In support of their vision to eliminate workplace diseases and injuries, I would like to highlight some of the steps the WSCC is taking to achieve that outcome.

The most at-risk demographic for workplace injuries in 2022 were individuals aged 25-34, representing 26% of all claims. Positive, safe behaviors must be supported as soon as one enters the workforce in order to make safety second-nature. WSCC continues to develop their Young Worker Program and resources for workers under 25 so that they could take the knowledge and awareness they develop as young workers and continue to apply it to their working environments throughout their careers.

Mr. Speaker, the most commonly injured body parts last year included both the back and hands, representing 24% of all injuries. Sprains, strains, and tears continue to be one of the most frequently reported injury types, and being struck by an object is one of the more frequent types of accident.

Over the last year, the WSCC produced four seasonal campaigns designed to raise awareness on specific occupational health and safety trends. These campaigns were focused on lifting safely, hand injury prevention, sprains and strains and being struck by an object. All campaigns, which are accessible on the WSCC’s website, provide further resources to learn more about common risks and injuries in the workplace and how to prevent them.

In 2022, trade labourers and heavy equipment operators were injured more frequently than other occupations. Ahead of the construction season, WSCC ran a campaign highlighting the process of how to submit notifications of high hazard work. As a result of these efforts, WSCC received a higher number of notifications compared to previous years, which enabled Occupational Health and Safety Inspectors to prioritize high hazard inspections.

WSCC continues to keep a close eye on the northern workplace safety trends to better determine where resources and support are needed to help workers return home safely every night.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.