TORONTO, Ont. – Ontario workplaces are safer in general, but the province’s transportation and warehousing sector appears to be losing ground, new figures from the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) suggest.
The WSIB’s annual Health and Safety Index indicates that workplaces are 1.9% safer this year, but transportation and warehousing scores dropped 1.6%. It was one of three tracked industries to score worse than the year before. Manufacturing and retail trades were the other two.
The measure comes a year after transportation and warehousing scores had improved by 3.1%.
“There was an increase in severe injuries compared to year over year,” says Terrance D’Souza, executive director of advanced analytics. The 192 such injuries that were recorded in 2018 almost doubled the 98 seen in 2017.
Almost every type of injury was more prevalent in 2018. Transportation and warehousing workers saw 2,060 sprains, strains and tears compared to the 1,268 in 2017. Reported bruises and contusions totaled 433, up from 133, while 388 fractures outpaced the 191 reported the year before. The 199 concussions were up from 162 in 2017.
Only the number of cuts and lacerations dropped, down to 140 from the 209 recorded in 2017.
The transportation and warehousing workplaces also lost ground in measures relating to enforcement and worker empowerment.
“Things that were actually doing better were on the cultural side and the prevention side,” D’Souza said.
This is the second year the WSIB has published the Health and Safety Index, tracking measures including injury prevention, empowerment, workplace culture, enforcement and injuries. It’s supported by a survey of about 1,600 Ontario residents per year.
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