Workplace violence 5th highest cause of injury in Saskatchewan

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REGINA, SK – The Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) and the Saskatchewan Association of Safe Workplaces in Health (SASWH) announced a province-wide initiative today to address workplace injuries due to violence.

“Workers shouldn’t go to work and feel threatened by violence,” says Shelly McFadden, Director of Prevention at the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB). “That’s why the WCB is partnering in this violence prevention initiative.”

There were 936 claims reported to the WCB due to violence in 2016. WCB has identified five sectors where acts of violence and aggression are within the top five causes of injury to workers: Healthcare, Social Services, Education, Hospitality, Policing and Corrections. The development of the Provincial Violence Prevention Framework will be led by SASWH.

SASWH has been tracking and investigating these incidents in healthcare. “Violence in the workplace, whether it is a physical attack or psychological or verbal violence, is a threat to Saskatchewan workers, and a growing problem for supervisors and employers,” says Sandra Cripps, Chief Executive Officer of SASWH. She explains the threat of violence has an ongoing emotional toll on workers. “The emotional cost of violence in the workplace is far higher than any estimated financial cost.”

The WCB and SASWH presented the initiative to leaders in key industries at a meeting in Regina on April 27. The Provincial Violence Prevention Framework includes a toolkit that will be piloted in facilities in Saskatchewan health regions. Tools include information, training, manuals, web content and videos for employers and workers.

McFadden says, “Over 900 people were hurt last year due to acts of violence. This is unacceptable. These injuries are preventable. We want to support employers and workers by ensuring they have access to tools and resources that they can use to prevent violent incidents.” The Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL) is supportive of the initiative. Lori Johb, Chair of the SASWH Board of Directors and SFL Secretary-Treasurer, says, “Everyone has the right to a safe and healthy workplace. This initiative is an important step to raising awareness about the issue of violence in order to prevent these injuries.”

The WCB is committed to assisting Saskatchewan workers and employers in achieving Mission: Zero.

Top 5 Occupations with Injuries by Violence (5 year total)

  1. Nurse Aides, Orderlies and Patient Service Associates
  2. Community and Social Service Workers
  3. Registered Nurses
  4. Police Officers (except commissioned)
  5. Security Guards and Related Occupations

Top 5 Causes of Injury by Violent Acts (5 year total)

  1. Health care patient or resident of a health care facility
  2. Person (Not self-inflicted)
  3. Dogs
  4. Prison inmates
  5. Students


In 2016:

  • Violence was the 5th highest cause of workplace injuries.
  • 3.84% of the time loss injuries were due to violence.
  • 4% of the total workplace were attributed to violence.
  • There were 936 claims because of violence.
  • 2 workplace deaths were due to violence.
  • In the Healthcare industry, 8.84% of the time loss injuries were caused by assaults, violent acts, attacks and harassment. Violence was the 4th highest cause of injury in that industry.

For more information, please contact:

Heather Getz

Manager, Social Marketing, Communications, Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board

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