Nova Scotia is making progress on reducing the impact of workplace injuries.
Compared to 2021, 52,000 fewer days were lost to short-term disability due to workplace injury in 2022, according to the annual Impact of Workplace Injury Report released today by WCB Nova Scotia. That’s the equivalent of about 200 people working full time for a whole year and demonstrates that efforts to improve safe and timely return to work are beginning to make a difference.
Despite a slight increase in the total number of time loss injuries, the provincial injury rate improved to 1.54 per 100 covered workers, down from 1.58 in 2021, and is one of the lowest rates in the past ten years. In 2012, the injury rate was 1.96.
Safety in the long-term care and home care sectors also improved, thanks to ongoing efforts by a partnership with industry, AWARE-NS, Government and the WCB. Throughout the year, investments in staff training, safety equipment and return to work programs helped to reduce injuries and improve safe and timely return to work.
“Fewer people are getting hurt at work in Nova Scotia. That’s good news, especially among these critical workforces within our health care system”, says Shelley Rowan, WCB Nova Scotia’s Interim CEO. “Keeping our skilled workers in these and other sectors safe, healthy and at work will help support our province’s broader goals for population and economic growth.”
COVID-19 continued to impact workplaces across the province in 2022, when there were 361 time-loss claims. There were 82 time-loss claims in 2021, and 43 in 2020. The increase in 2022 is consistent with the experience in other provinces and is related to the Omicron variant.
Fewer workers experienced a psychological injury at work in 2022. Last year, 135 Nova Scotians lost time from work due to a psychological injury compared to 151 in 2021. Of those, 86 were first responders.
“Supporting workers living with the impact of trauma at work is an ever-increasing part of what we do at the WCB,” says Rowan. “We are continuing to improve and evolve how we support recovery and return to work after psychological injury and are working alongside first responders to develop approaches to help prevent traumatic injuries in the first place.”
The WCB introduced a Traumatic Psychological Injury Program in 2021. The program helps to streamline access to mental health services and supports that injured workers need to support their recovery. More than 500 injured workers have completed the program since it began, and successful returns to work are improving.
Several industries saw significant improvements in their injury rates in 2022, including retail, accommodation-food and beverage, and transportation.
Sprains and strains remain the number one type of workplace injury, accounting for more than half of all injuries that require time off to recover. Backs are still the part of the body that’s most often injured.
The age of Nova Scotians who experience an injury continues to increase. Workers over the age of 50 years now comprise over 37 percent of all time loss claims.
The full 2022 Impact of Workplace Injury Report is available here.
2022 Impact of Workplace Injury Report Highlights
- In 2022, WCB Nova Scotia covered approximately 353,000 workers for 20,600 employers.
- Tragically, 24 Nova Scotians died at or because of their work. A separate report on workplace fatalities in 2022 was released in March.
- 279 firms account for 62 per cent of all time-loss claims.
- 5,420 Nova Scotians were injured seriously enough to lose three or more days from work.
- Fewer young workers were injured in 2022. Injuries among workers aged 20 to 24 years were down from 478 in 2021 to 449 in 2022. Injuries among younger workers under 20 years of age were down from 124 in 2021 to 119 in 2022.
- In 2022, the injury rate in health and social services decreased (improved) almost 8 per cent, from 2.95 in 2021 to 2.72 in 2022.
- The injury rate in long-term care was 4.09 in 2022, down from 4.85 in 2021 and 4.60 in 2020.
- The injury rate in home care was 6.85 in 2022, down from 7.43 in 2021 and 7.72 in 2020.
- Several of Nova Scotia’s largest industries saw improvements in their injury rates:
- Transportation/Storage improved from 2.25 to 1.95
- Retail improved from 1.0 to 0.91
- Accommodation/Food and Beverage improved from 0.96 to 0.88
- Fishing improved from 1.44 to 1.33
- Sprains are strains are the most common type of injury, accounting for approximately 59 percent of all time-loss claims. There were 1,199 back injuries, accounting for more than 22 percent of all time-loss claims.
- A slip, trip or fall was the cause of more than 20 percent of all time-loss injuries.
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Denise Corra, Manager, Communications and Partnerships, WCB Nova Scotia