A new study shows the
daily grind can be hazardous to your health, with an average of five Canadians
dying on the job every work day. A report released Tuesday by the Centre for
the Study of Living Standards found a record 1,097 people in Canada died as a
result of an accident or disease suffered at work in 2005 an 18 per cent
increase over the previous year.
The statistics were calculated based
on the average Canadian working 230 days each year.
"I was very
surprised when the numbers were that high," said the centre's executive
director, Dr. Andrew Sharpe. "We haven't had that high an increase in a long
time possibly ever in terms of the absolute number of percentage
Sharpe said most of the increase is due to occupational
diseases, which accounted for half the deaths, with one-third of those
fatalities directly related to asbestos exposure.
Since many of the
workers were over the age of 65 and retired at the time of death, the
statistics could just be playing catch-up, he said.
"Part of the
reason for the increase in the worker fatalities is the aging of this cohort
that was exposed to asbestos in the past," he said, noting the approximately
2,000 remaining asbestos miners in Quebec now have adequate protection.
"In that sense, it's a problem that we've taken care of. It's just
because of the latency period we're seeing more deaths now."
was based on provincial workers' compensation data obtained from the
Association of Workers' Compensation Boards of Canada.
province has its own rules regarding claim eligibility, Sharpe said the spike
could also be related to changes in provincial regulations, such as the
acceptance of more claims linking certain professions such as
firefighting with various types of cancer.
The most dangerous
jobs include fishing, mining, oil wells, forestry and construction, the study
said. Finance and insurance posed the lowest risk of death.
of a negative aspect of our prosperity boom," Sharpe said. "Part of the reason
we haven't been able to get the accident rate down is due to increased
employment in high-risk industries."
Fatality rates differed across
the country, with the highest occurring in Newfoundland, where there were 11.7
deaths per 100,000 workers in 2005, compared to the national average of 6.8
Ontario experienced the largest number of workplace fatalities
with 412, followed by Quebec with 223 and British Columbia with 189.
Sharpe said Canada is one of the few economically developed countries
experiencing a rise in workplace deaths rather than a decline.
See full report here.
* * * NOTE * * * This report takes its statistics from
the Association of Workers Compensation Boards in Canada (AWCBC) which only
reports ACCEPTED claims. The CIWS believes that the statistics ARE MUCH