Injuries at work, 2013

Personal injuries cost Canadian society an estimated $19.8 billion annually in health care costs and costs related to reduced productivity from hospitalization, disability and premature death.Note 1

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Note to readers

Injuries included in this analysis are based on the question that asks respondents if they had sustained an injury in the past 12 months. To be included, the injury must have been serious enough to limit their normal activities the day after it had occurred. For example, a broken bone, a bad cut, a burn or a sprain. Repetitive strain injuries and food poisoning are excluded.

Analysis on injuries at work is based on respondents who indicated that their most serious injury had taken place at a job or business. The estimate of the number of injuries at work is based on 'the most serious injury'. It does not estimate the total number of workplace injuries in Canada.

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In 2013, 16.0% of Canadians aged 15 to 74, roughly 4.2 million people, sustained injuries in the past 12 months that limited their normal activities. For 14.5% of those injured, their most serious injury took place while working at a job or business.

The majority of those whose most serious injury took place at work were males (71.2%). Among both sexes, the three most common types of injuries sustained at work in 2013 were sprains or strains (49.9%), cuts, punctures, or bites (19.2%), and broken or fractured bones (8.7%; Chart 1).

Chart 1 Percentage whose most serious injury of past year took place at work, household population aged 15 to 74, by type of injury, 2013

Description for Chart 1

For those whose most serious injury was at work, the majority worked in trades, transport, equipment operation and related occupations (34.0%) followed by sales and service (24.0%; Chart 2).Note 2

Chart 2 Percentage whose most serious injury of past year took place at work, household population aged 15 to 74, by grouped occupation types, 2013

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Activity limiting injuries often require medical attention, as soon as possible if the injury is severe. About half of the people (56.7%) whose most serious injury took place at work in 2013 received some medical attention within 48 hours. This was slightly higher than the 50.0% of people whose injury took place somewhere other than work.

Depending on the severity of the injury, follow-up care may also be required. Around ninety thousand (14.8%) of those injured at work in 2013 received follow-up care for their injury for an average of 4.9 months after it occurred.

Injuries at work across Canada

The proportion of Canadians whose most serious injury took place at work was 14.5% (of those reporting an injury). The following provinces had a proportion that was lower than the national average:

  • New BrunswickNote 3 (7.8%)
  • Ontario (11.4%)

The following provinces had a proportion that was higher than the national average:

  • Saskatchewan (23.6%)
  • Alberta (19.7%)

Residents of other provinces and territoriesNote 3 reported rates that were about the same as the national average.

Notes

Data

Additional data from the Canadian Community Health Survey are available from CANSIM table 105-0501.

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