Injury and Safety Statistics

While all workers in Canada have a right to a safe and healthy workplace, over a thousand Canadians are killed each and every year as a result of demands of their work, a horrible toll in anguish and suffering that has continued unabated for over a decade.

Gender, age and income dynamics also have a marked impact on the picture of occupational health and safety in Canada. Males continue to experience a significantly higher rate of workplace injury than females. In 2008, for instance, the workplace injury rate for males, especially younger males, was observed to be 18.8 cases per 1,000 while the comparative rate for employed women was only 11.2 cases per 1,000.

The injury rates for adolescent and young adult males has been observed to be between 1.5 and 4 times the rate of working men over 25 years of age. Burns and lacerations appear to account for half of the injuries to young workers and approximately one fourth to one third of injuries observed in adult workers.


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Ratio for injury rates of adolescent and young adult males when compared to the corresponding workplace injury rate of working men aged 25 years and older

 Younger workers as well as those workers engaging in relatively new or unfamiliar work are much more likely to be injured while on the job. On the other hand many high severity injuries can be traced back to more seasoned and experienced workers who have become complacent. Over time, the greater the degree of familiarity with an occupational risk appears to increase the overall chance of workers developing both occupational injuries as well as occupational diseases. Indeed the most likely group to require emergency medical attention as a result of their work are workers in the age ranges of 25 to 44 and 45 to 64 years of age.

Safety Measurement

Knaack and Associates can help assess the current state of occupational health and safety at your organization by reviewing current safety performance measurement strategies and methods.

The real value of measuring safety performance organization wide goes well beyond the generation of the required safety metrics and statistics including the injury frequency and the injury severity rate.

The implementation of a dynamic safety performance system can be instrumental to realign behaviors, corporate processes and procedures. Safety measurements can also be used to motivate and excite people by celebrating successes.

Occupational Disease - The Coming Wave

In addition to complacency, older more experienced workers also feature prominently in the most noticeable trend in the field of occupational health and safety, a marked upsurge in the number of accepted claims for occupational illness, disease and premature mortality including especially the development of workplace related cancers. While the exact number of work related cancer cases in Canada has yet to be determined some estimates place the number of work related cancer deaths at between 4% and 10% of all such deaths in the country.

The industry sectors most commonly brought into association with a higher than average risk of developing occupational cancers include the construction, mining and extractive sectors as well as the health care sector. Prominent multi-institution research groups such as CAREX Canada (CARcinogen EXposure) are presently engaged in ground breaking research to establish an evidence based risk profile of the various potential occupational cancer exposures typical of workplaces in Canada. An interactive occupational cancer data base developed by CAREX Canada can be found at the following URL:

Health and Safety Measurement Systems Supported




Behaviour Sampling

Gap Analysis

Incident Statistics

Perception Surveys

Safety by Objectives

Score Cards

Worksite Inspections


New Canadians Face a Higher than average Risk of Occupational Injury

Related to the trend of exporting some of the most dangerous jobs to the economies of the developing world remains an observable trend where recent immigrants to this country (< 10 years in Canada) appear to feature more prominently in provincial and territorial accident statistics than their Canadian born colleagues. New Canadians are also much more likely to pursue employment in physically demanding occupations with smaller employers.

From a statistical perspective, those new Canadians who have been in the country for less than five years are also much more likely to be engaged in transitory and temporary employment. According to the Institute for Work and Health the likelihood of a new Canadian being subject to a serious work-related injury is nearly twice as high for recently landed immigrant male than it is for a Canadian-born colleague. Due to a tendency to under report the true picture of risk of developing occupational injuries and illnesses by new comers to Canada could be even higher.


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