While few residents of British Columbia likely think about it before they step out the door to head to work, the reality is workers are regularly hurt while doing things tied to their jobs. Sometimes those injuries are minor, but other times they can dramatically change the life of the worker. In the worst cases, the injuries are so serious that they lead to death.
According to recent statistics, the news on this front is positive. Over the course of the last twenty years, workplace injuries leading to death in B.C., have decreased significantly. Specifically, as compared to 1990 when the rate of workplace deaths was 1.02 per 10,000 persons, in 2014, that number was down to 0.34 deaths per 10,000 persons.
There are likely multiple reasons for the decline, including:
- An enhanced workplace safety culture
- Increases in training programs
- The creation of industry safety association
- Increased public scrutiny
While it is of course wonderful that there are fewer workplace fatalities, the reality is that since 1990, a total of 2,305 workers have died in this manner. Another 1,437, died as a result of workplace disease. The number of these latter types of deaths is actually on the rise.
There is no question that employers have taken actions that result in fewer fatal workplace accidents. This does not mean they will not be held responsible for serious injuries or death when they do occur in the workplace, however. An employment lawyer can help not only with creating a better safety culture, increasing training programs and safety associations but also help a business address legal action tied to a workplace accident, should it occur.