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Average time lost due to workplace injury continues to increase

WCB Nova Scotia’s Report to the Community for the second quarter of 2018 tells the story of a province where fewer injuries are happening – but when they do, it’s taking longer to achieve a return to the workplace.

WCB tracks a number of statistics related to time off the job due to injury. The length of an average claim and the number of days lost to workplace injury are both increasing, according to the report.

The index used to measure average claim duration increased to 121 days, from 117 days at the end of 2017. It was 115 days in the same quarter of last year.

“Timely, healthy, and safe return to work is the best outcome, for everyone,” says Stuart MacLean, CEO of WCB Nova Scotia. “Too much time is being lost to injury in our province, and it’s holding us back. We all have a role to play in ensuring injured workers are supported as they recover and make safe and timely returns to work. The longer an injured worker stays off the job, the more complex the situation becomes.”

WCB continues to develop and roll out itsWorking to Well program, which provides return-to-work resources to the province’s injured workers, employers and service providers.

There were 1,343 time-loss injuries from April to June of 2018, down slightly from the same period in 2017 when there were 1,351.

At the midpoint of 2018, the time-loss injury rate had declined to 1.73 time-loss injuries per 100 WCB-covered workers from 1.76 at the end of 2017.

Acute fatalities over the first two quarters increased over last year. From January to June, nine Nova Scotians went to work and did not return home. There were nine chronic fatalities in the same period.

It has been a tragic year in fishing and also in construction, despite long-term progress in each of those industries. The human tragedies are a grim undertone to an overall safety culture story that seems to be continuing its slow improvement in our province.

“No one should die as a result of their work, and every workplace fatality is a tragedy,” says MacLean. “The increase in 2018 speaks to the need for continued work by all of us to keep Nova Scotians safe on the job.”

The long-term operational outlook for the WCB includes a major business transformation, which includes the replacement of old claims and assessment systems with new industry-leading technology. The update, expected to launch in early 2019, will provide better tools, faster processes and more online services for employers, workers and service providers.

WCB had a solid financial quarter, with strong investment returns, and continued reduction in the province’s unfunded liability.

Read the full report for our complete operational and financial results, along with an update on our ongoing modernization at wcb.ns.ca.

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Source : Media Release

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