High Risk Industry Strategies – WorkSafeBC

WorkSafeBC’S High Risk Strategies identify and target industries and employers with a high risk of serious workplace injury and a significant contribution to the serious injury rate. The serious injury rate is worked out by the number of time-loss claims and serious injury claims for every 100 young workers. Between 2010 and 2019 the injury rate was 2.3 and the serious injury rate was 0.3.¹

What are High Risk Strategies?

Collectively, the High Risk Strategies are designed to reduce the serious injury rate through implementation of risk-reduction tactics directed towards high-risk work activities. The primary role of the High Risk Strategies is to identify categories of serious injuries and to develop planned approaches to effect change, thereby reducing the risk of serious injuries.²

WorksfeBC’s strategies focus on prevention initiatives within identified areas of high risk. This is to apply resources and effort where they will be most effective.

Based on the occurrence of serious injuries and work-related deaths, the High Risk Strategies  four industry sectors are: constructionforestryhealth care, and manufacturing.

High Risk Strategy

Statistical data shows that although the injury rate has been slowly decreasing over the past six years, the serious injury rate has remained steady. ³ This has led WorksafeBC to introduce a layered approach to identifying and correcting high risk work conditions and practices. The strategy looks at tasks or environmentally created hazards,  responsibilities, planning, and the effectiveness of supervision.

The 2018-2020 Construction High Risk Strategy will focus on three areas:

  • Health and safety responsibilities — Planning and supervision
  • Tools, equipment, and processes — Choosing the safest option
  • Partnerships and collaborations

High Risk Strategy

Within the forestry industry, WorksafeBC’s  high risk strategy will look at work activities which  typically fall into five areas of operation:

  • Manual tree falling
  • Log transportation
  • Cable yarding
  • Mechanized harvesting (focus on steep slope and tethered/winch-assist operations in 2020)
  • Silviculture ⁴

In addition to the five main focus areas emergency response planning (ERP) has also been identified as a critical target area.

A separate dedicated inspection team is also being deployed as a result of the continuing high injury rate in hand falling. They will focus on high injury rates, consistent high risk injuries, and/or poor compliance rates amongst employers involved in manual tree falling.

Health Care
High Risk Strategy

The primary focus of the Health Care High Risk Strategy is on work areas and occupations where direct patient care or services to individuals are provided and the interactions between the worker and the patient or individual can be observed. ⁵ These observations will occur within health care and community social services worksites.

The goals of the 2018–2020 Health Care HRS are to:

  • Reduce the risk of workplace violence and related injuries to health care and community social services workers
  • Reduce health care and community social services workers’ risk of overexertion or musculoskeletal injuries (MSIs) due to patient/individual lifting and patient/individual mobility limitations ⁶

High Risk Strategy

Within the manufacturing industry risks have been classified into units and the top 15 general risks identified. This was necessary for WorksafeBC’s high risk strategy, because the injury rate and serious injury rate in the manufacturing sector is above the provincial injury rate. ⁷

The 2018-2020 Manufacturing HRS goals are to:

  • Reduce serious injury and fatal injury rates in the manufacturing industry
  • The 2018-2020 strategy will address the risks of serious injury from these seven strategic focus areas:
    • Safeguarding and lockout
    • Powered tools
    • Hand tools (knives)
    • Material handling (falling objects)
    • Falls from elevation
    • Falls on same level (slips and trips)
    • Mobile equipment
      (Additional risk areas are fire and explosion risks.) ⁸

The WorksafeBC website offers many great resources that have been brought together for all four high risk industries. They comprise of guides, checklists, pamphlets, booklets and videos aimed at helping both employees and employers reduce the risk of workplace injury.

1 – https://public.tableau.com/profile/worksafebc#!/vizhome/Provincialoverview/Didyouknow

2 – https://www.worksafebc.com/en/about-us/what-we-do/high-risk-strategies

3 – https://www.worksafebc.com/en/about-us/what-we-do/high-risk-strategies/construction

4 – https://www.worksafebc.com/en/about-us/what-we-do/high-risk-strategies/forestry

5, 6 – https://www.worksafebc.com/en/about-us/what-we-do/high-risk-strategies/health-care

7, 8 – https://www.worksafebc.com/en/about-us/what-we-do/high-risk-strategies/manufacturing