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Peace Region fifth most dangerous place to work in province

Northern Rockies comes in second in serious injury rate
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A new WorkSafeBC online tool shows the most dangerous places to work in B.C.

For anyone who moves dirt, fells trees or raises houses for a living, it should come as no surprise: Northeast B.C. can be a dangerous place to work.

New data from WorkSafeBC makes clear just how dangerous.

Workers in the Northern Rockies and Peace Region are the second and fifth-most likely to be seriously injured on the job in B.C., respectively.

WorkSafe recently released serious injury data for 2010 to 2014 in a dashboard tool on its website.

In both the Peace and Northern Rockies, most serious injuries occurred in the general construction industry.

Any injury that can kill or permanently wound is considered serious under the law. A higher rate means workers in a given region are more likely to be seriously injured on the job. However, that doesn't mean a greater number of  overall injuries.

In the Northern Rockies, the region that includes Fort Nelson, there were 58 serious injuries that resulted in 253 lost workdays in the five-year span.

The region had the second-highest rate of serious injuries, at 22.9 per cent, well above the provincial average of 13 per cent.

Leading the pack was Stikine, in north central B.C., where there were only nine serious injuries, mostly caused by falls. However, those represented nearly a quarter of all workplace injuries in the region.

The Peace Region ranked fifth overall, with 418 serious injuries, for a rate of around 18.6 per cent

According to WorkSafe, that translates to 2,242 hours of lost productivity in the region.

Most of those were fractures to the wrist, hands or fingers. Construction workers were the most likely to be injured.

The safest place to work was the Capital Regional District, which includes Victoria, where 8.9 per cent of all work place injuries were potentially deadly or debilitating. Vancouver had a rate of 12.2.

Overall, construction lead the way in injuries, with 6,469, followed by transportation (2,757) and food service (2,642).

Of industries that are prominent in the northeast: Oil and gas saw 423 injuries, agriculture 636, forestry 912, education 948, and wood and paper manufacturing 1,834.

According to WorkSafe, employers paid nearly $2.3 billion in time lost to injuries between 2010 and 2014.

reporter@ahnfsj.ca

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