2023-28 Workplace Injury Prevention Strategy focuses on healthy workers and productive workplaces
St. John’s, NL – Today, WorkplaceNL and the Department of Digital Government and Service NL jointly launched the Workplace Injury Prevention Strategy 2023-28.
The six-year plan includes initiatives to achieve five outcomes:
- champion a culture of health and safety;
- enhance programs to address the changing workplace;
- leverage partnerships;
- provide timely education, training and technology; and
- strengthen the enforcement management process.
The strategy addresses certain challenges and emerging issues (see backgrounder), with the vision of healthy workers in safe and productive workplaces.
The work-related injury rate has been relatively stable at a historic low for the past five years, dipping to its lowest in 2020 at 1.4 lost-time incidents per 100 workers – one of the lowest rates in Canada. On average, 12 workers are injured in our province every day.
Progress on the strategy will be reported in WorkplaceNL’s Annual Performance Report.
The strategy was developed in consultation with stakeholders, including an open call for public input.
WorkplaceNL promotes and provides education on workplace injury and illness prevention, and regulates safety training. The Occupational Health and Safety Division of the Department of Digital Government and Service NL establishes and enforces workplace safety practices, standards and procedures.
“This new strategy is another step forward to educate and increase the awareness of injury prevention at work,” said the Honourable Bernard Davis, Minister Responsible for WorkplaceNL. “It is essential that we continue to work together, to maintain a strong culture of health and safety in the workplace, in an effort to meet the ever-changing needs of workplaces in order to protect and support all workers.”
“Ensuring safe and healthy workplaces throughout Newfoundland and Labrador requires a collaborative effort between workers, employers, government and other safety partners. I am pleased that this new strategy will help further guide and support workplace injury prevention and enforcement,” said the Honourable Sarah Stoodley, Minister of Digital Government and Service NL. “We will closely monitor the strategy’s key performance indicators to ensure the actions help keep workers safe and healthy.”
“There are still far too many workers injured or who fall ill due to their work in our province,” said Alicia Sutton, VP Prevention and Workplace Services, WorkplaceNL. “I thank our partners for their input while developing this strategy, and look forward to working collaboratively to reduce workplace injury and support recovery at work in order to lessen the impacts on workers, families, employers and communities.”
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July 2022: Discussion paper (provided during consultations)
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Serving approximately 232,000 workers and 17,500 employers, WorkplaceNL administers an employer-funded, no-fault workers’ compensation system that promotes safe and healthy workplaces, provides return-to-work programs and offers compensation to injured workers and their dependents.
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Krista Dalton, Digital Government and Service NL
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Carla Riggs, WorkplaceNL
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Challenges and emerging issues:
- Musculoskeletal injuries (MSIs), or soft-tissue injuries, account for more than two-thirds of workplace injuries in our province, with an annual average of $102 million in claims cost over the last five years.
- Mental health disorder claims have increased from 25 claims in 2017 to 70 claims in 2021.
- Serious injuries continue to be of concern, with an average of 247 claims per year between 2017 and 2021.
- Health Care and Social Services industry accounted for the largest percentage of claims (33 per cent) and costs (24 per cent) in 2021 of all industries.
- The nature of work and the workforce is changing so new or changing safety risks may emerge.