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220 WORK-RELATED INJURY TRENDS AMONG HIGH RISK INDUSTRIES IN BRITISH COLUMBIA (BC)
To estimate trends in work-related injuries in high-risk industries in BC for the years 1987–2005; to examine demographic and occupational risk factors that may explain variation in these trends.
The BC Linked Health Database was used to identify workers who had at least one accepted worker’s compensation claim between 1987 and 2005 in three high-risk industry sectors – health care, construction and forestry. Using census workforce estimates and data from Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Surveys, injury rates were calculated for each year by age, occupation, nature of injury, geographical area and sex.
Health Care: The overall claim rate was relatively constant between 1987 and 2001, ranging between 6.3% and 7.5%, with a recent drop from 2002 onwards to 4.7%. Claim rates for younger workers (ages 15–24) were similar compared to adult workers. Nursing support workers, cleaning and service staff had the highest rate of claims in hospital settings and residential care facilities (11.0% and 13.1%, respectively, for hospitals and 18.0% and 7.1% for care facilities). Construction: The overall claim rate in construction fell by around 50% during the study time period from a high of 19.7% in 1989 and 1990 to below 10% from 2002 onwards. Young workers had on average a 33% higher injury rate compared to mid-career adult workers (25–54), however the difference between the young worker injury rate and older age groups decreased by the end of the study period. Forestry: Forestry experienced a 50% drop in claim rates from a high of 25.2% in 1987 to a low of 9.3% in 2003; this was particularly concentrated among younger workers.
While work-related injury trends have declined in British Columbia, there is significant variation among these trends by industrial sectors, age and occupation. In particular, injury rates decreased more in the construction and forest sectors than in the …