Campaign Underway to Help Reduce Workplace Injuries in Alberta

Monday, September 23, 2013

Workplace EmergencyIn an attempt to rid the province of as many injuries that take place at the workplace and at home as possible, the Alberta Centre for Injury Control & Research recently launched a social marketing strategy that it hopes residents will resonate to and implement in their daily dealings.

With the financial assistance of the Government of Canada and in partnership with the Community Against Preventable Injuries, the campaign will be omnipresent, reaching Alberta residents through a variety of mediums, including Facebook and Twitter, television advertisements as well as different marketing activities.

Fred Horne, Alberta's Health Minister, noted that Alberta has the highest rate of injury in the entire country. But the good news is that they're entirely preventable.

"We all have a role reducing the frequency and severity of injuries," said Horne. "Understanding injury prevention and becoming aware of the risks in everyday life is the first step to create a safer environment for Albertans to live, work and play."

Injury costs in Alberta higher than national average

On a per capita basis, Alberta has the highest injury costs in Canada at $918 per person. For the average Canadian, the cost is just over $620.

James Talbot, chief medical officer of Health for Alberta, pointed out that the total economic burden due to both intentional and unintentional injuries in the province is estimated to total more than $2.9 billion each year some of these costs paid through Alberta home insurance claims through accident liability.

"As a leader in injury prevention, the Alberta Center for Injury Control & Research is partnering with Preventable and asking Albertans to consider the consequences in human suffering and economic cost of not taking preventative measures," Talbot said.

Based on statistics compiled by Preventable, between 2001 and 2010, nearly 28,900 residents in Alberta were hospitalized after sustaining an injury. This translates to about 80 injuries requiring emergency medical treatment each day.

According to the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety, 42,000 workers in Canada get injured each year on the job frequently as a result of slips and falls. These accidents also commonly take place at home.

One of the best ways of avoiding them is through proper housekeeping maintenance. The CCOHS compiled a list of tips so that injuries can be avoided:

  • Mop up spills - Even relatively small pools of liquid can be slippery. It's important to mop them up in a timely fashion.

  • Promptly replace light bulbs - Lighting is key to being able to see in any given area - especially at night. Instead of putting off when a bulb is replaced, you should install a new one as soon as it goes out.

  • Close filing cabinets and doors all the way - Drawers that aren't closed completely can easily cause someone to trip or be scratched. Ensure that these openings are shut when not in use.

  • Put placemats under carpeting - Wood floors typically don't have the friction needed to keep a bare carpet from sliding every which way. Be sure you put lining underneath portage rugs so that they stay in place.

CCOHS noted that you may want to take it a step further and renovate an entire floor. If a floor is replaced with pressure-sensitive strips or coating that makes a floor less susceptible to tripping this can further reduce potential liability.

Depending on how comprehensive these home improvements are, you may want to get in touch with your Calgary home insurance provider to check to see if any adjustments need to be made to your policy.