Workplace fatalities increase in 2022 (March 16/23)

A chart shows the number of Nova Scotians who died in 2022 in comparison to the past four years.

HALIFAX, NS – The number of Nova Scotians who died at work or because of their work increased in 2022 compared to the year before, according to data released today by WCB Nova Scotia and the Department of Labour, Skills and Immigration (LSI).

In 2022, 24 Nova Scotians died at work or because of their work, compared to 20 in 2021 and 32 in 2020. 

Of these, nine Nova Scotians died from acute traumatic injuries on the job, compared to five in 2021 and 18 in 2020. The acute deaths occurred across a range of industries, including two in fishing.

There were also 15 fatalities classified as chronic in 2022 – eight related to occupational diseases stemming from past exposures, and seven caused by health-related issues, such as heart attacks, which occurred at the workplace but may or may not have been related to work. In 2021, there were 15 chronic fatalities, and 14 in 2020. To further understand these classifications, please refer to this fact sheet

“There are still too many people dying at work or because of work, and too many families dealing with tragic loss,” says Jill Balser, Minister of Labour, Skills and Immigration. “We extend our deepest sympathies to the friends and families of workers who did not make it home safe. We all have a responsibility to keep each other safe at work, and when we work safe, we come home safe.” 

WCB Nova Scotia Interim CEO Shelley Rowan says fatalities are a stark reminder of the importance of ensuring that safety is the first priority in every workplace.

“Last year, 24 families in Nova Scotia were forever changed by workplace tragedy,” says Rowan. “We offer our sincere condolences to the loved ones of all those lost, and renew our shared commitment to do all we can to make sure every Nova Scotian gets home safely from work every day.”

While the province has seen improvements in workplace safety overall, Rowan adds that one fatality is too many, and prevention efforts must continue.

WCB Nova Scotia and LSI continue to work closely with industry and other partners to promote workplace safety. Together, the organizations, along with safety associations, conduct workplace visits and education and awareness campaigns, as part of ongoing efforts to improve workplace safety throughout the province.

Following a workplace tragedy, it can be difficult to know where to turn. Threads of Life is a national charity dedicated to supporting families during this very challenging time, providing an ongoing network of support. To learn more, visit  

Media Contacts

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Nicole Halloran
Senior Communications Advisor, WCB Nova Scotia
902-223-8901 |

Monica MacLean
Communications Manager, Department of Labour, Skills and Immigration
902-220-0358 |