Total Workplace Deaths
The Ontario Health and Safety Act came in effect in 1979 and since then the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) has collected data on occupational diseases. Still, today’s death figures do not reflect the true impact of occupational diseases, which are estimated to be much higher in Ontario: where 6,000 workers are lost every year to various occupational diseases (according to a study entitled “Occupational disease and Worker Compensation” by Dr. Annalee Yassi).
Total Workplace Claims
Approximately 38% of all workplace injuries, illnesses and deaths suffered by workers in Ontario are not reported because many employers do not participate in the WSIB system.
The tremendous health care costs associated with work related illnesses could be offset by the WSIB, but many workers do not make the connection between their ill health and the exposures they endured over many years in a particular workplace.
Total Lost-time Claims
The lost-time claims which represent claims requiring time off work have decreased over the years, mainly because of technological changes and the way these incidents are reported.
But the same technological changes have caused an increase in musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) because of poor ergonomics in the workplace.
Source: Ontario Federation of Labour ; Workplace Safety and Insurance Board
Vol. XI No. 22 • May 30, 2011