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Tue, November 21, 2006

Workers Compensation Disagrees With StatsCan Workplace Injury Statistics

Statistics Canada says New Brunswick workers are most likely to be injured on the job. Yet "Mary Tucker of the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission said its numbers show the opposite"

Who is lying here? The CIWS has repeatedly pointed out that workers compensation boards are reporting false workplace injury statistics. See WCBs Report False Workplace Injury Statistics

N.B. workers most likely to be injured on the job -- StatsCan

Heavy lifting | Data shows that 19,000 New Brunswickers sustained an activity-limiting injury in the workplace

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New numbers from Statistics Canada indicate New Brunswickers are most likely to sustain a workplace injury that forces them to curtail their work.

Statistics Canada estimates 19,000 New Brunswickers, about five per cent of the working population, sustained at least one activity-limiting injury at work in 2003.

That's compared to about 3.8 per cent of Canadians, contributing to a total of 630,000 workplace injuries.

"I think the explanation lies in the distribution of the workforce in New Brunswick," said Kathryn Wilkins, senior analyst for the health analysis and measurement group at Statistics Canada.

Wilkins said the study examined a sample of 75,000 Canadians.

While New Brunswick posted the highest percentage, Wilkins said statistically, it is not significantly different from the numbers across Canada.

Part of the reason New Brunswick and Saskatchewan posted higher numbers of workplace injuries is because they have a significantly higher proportion of blue-collar workers, hovering around the 55 per cent mark. That's compared to the Canadian average of 49 per cent.

"Of course, that's where the highest rates of work injury occur," she said.

The detailed study also isolated increased risks of workplace injury for some people.

It found daily smokers had a higher likelihood of work injury compared with occasional or non-smokers. It was particularly true among women, among whom 3.5 per cent of daily smokers were injured -- nearly double the 1.9 per cent rate among occasional or non-smoking women.

Those who have more than one job, those who work a shift other than the day shift and those who work more than 45 hours a week were also more likely to report injury.

While those seem to make sense, Wilkins said it also found increased injury rates among obese women and among women who perceived their job to be stressful.

Injuries were more common in blue-collar jobs. About one-in-10 workers in trades, transport and equipment operation were injured.

The national average was four per cent.

The injury rate in the processing or manufacturing occupations was 7.2 per cent and in primary industries it was 6.6 per cent. Almost three out of every 10 work-related injuries was to the hands.

While the numbers are based on a survey, Mary Tucker of the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission said its numbers show the opposite and that it has only recently slipped to the second-lowest number of injuries.

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