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Hazardous occupations more likely to cause a workplace injury

British Columbia is a province in which natural resources abound, and as a result, there are many people employed in the resource sectors, including mining, fishing and forestry. These fields are considered high-risk areas for a workplace injury. A fatal injury to a forestry worker in 2016 has prompted one employer to reassess their safety training.

A 43-year-old man died on March 31, 2016 while cutting back a tree in a city park. A branch he was trimming split unexpectedly, fell and crushed him. Since his death, the park board has appointed an urban forestry Safety and Training Advisor to review how urban forestry workers are trained. The board will be placing an increased emphasis on safety training and safe work practices for its 53 urban foresters and apprentices.

WorkSafeBC statistics show that 94 forestry workers died on the job in British Columbia between 2006 and 2015. In 2015 alone, injuries to forestry workers accounted for 50,000 missed days of work. Other resource-based occupations also reported high numbers of days missed due to injury, including 30,000 in agriculture, 17,000 in fisheries, and 15,600 from the oil, gas and mining sector.

The unpredictability of nature makes careers in the resources field inherently risky. It is important for all workers to be properly trained, and for both employees and employers to ensure best practices are in place for safe working and hazard minimization. Should a person suffer a workplace injury, it might be worth contacting a personal injury lawyer. He or she will work with an injured party and determine if and how a case for compensation can be made.

Source: vancourier.com, "Since Vancouver arborist workplace death, park board pledges safety", Megan Stewart, March 21, 2017

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