WorksafeBC identified Construction as one of the four main industries at high risk of serious workplace injuries and therefore contributing to the serious injury rate.
The Construction High Risk Strategy (HRS) is designed to reduce the construction industry’s serious injury rate through risk-reduction tactics focused on health and safety responsibilities specific to planning and supervision and high-risk work activities. ¹
The statistical data shows that although the injury rate has been slowly decreasing over the past six years, the serious injury rate has remained steady. This has prompted a layered approach to identifying and correcting high risk work conditions and practices. The strategy looks at task or environmentally created hazards, at responsibilities, planning, and the effectiveness of supervision. ²
The 2021-2023 Construction HRS is focused on three areas:
- Falls from elevation
Falls from elevation continue to drive the serious injury rate in construction.
- Struck-by mobile equipment
Struck-by injuries continue to drive the serious injury rate and are currently surpassing falls from elevation in terms of the number of injury claims.
- High voltage limits of approach
Working in proximity to high voltage power lines is a high risk work activity and inadequate controls continue to put workers at risk of serious injury or death during the construction phase of building structures, during ongoing maintenance of building structures, and during ongoing movement of equipment and materials on a worksite.
Learn more about this risk in our “Plan for 10” campaign.
- Musculoskeletal and repetitive strain injuries (MSI and RSI)
Overexertion and repetitive strain injury are the main accident types driving the number of musculoskeletal injury claims in the construction industry.³
Results So Far
Over the four quarters of 2020 WorksafeBC met and surpassed their target for inspections (139%). They carried out 8,046 inspections, exceeding their intended 5,793. Throughout this period, they issued 6,513 Orders, 1,071 Orders with potential high-risk violations, 207 warning letters, 71 citation warnings, 159 stop work orders, 386 temporary cessation of work orders and imposed 150 penalties. ⁴
Over the four quarters of 2021 WorksafeBC met and exceeded their target of inspections (123%). They carried out 7,471 inspections, surpassing their intended 6,089. Throughout this period, they issued 8,536 Orders, 1,200 Orders with potential high-risk violations, 241 warning letters, 70 citation warnings, 237 stop work orders, 422 temporary cessation of work orders and imposed 160 penalties. ⁵
In the results so far available for 2022 (Q3) WorksafeBC have inspected 6,494 of their 6,386 target already exceeding it by 2%. They have issued 7,388 Orders, 1,076 Orders with potential high-risk violations, 166 warning letters, 107 citation warnings, 269 stop work orders, 455 temporary cessation of work orders and imposed 142 penalties ⁶
Throughout the 2020-22 period there was an increase in all of the operations carried out by Worksafe BC – Orders, high risk violations, warning letters, citations, stop work orders, temporary cessation of work orders and penalties.
WorksafeBC have put together many great resources such as the Supervisor Safety Resources – two pages of links to pamphlets, infoflips, online courses and videos. They have also created Toolbox Meeting Guides (TMG) – such as Manufactured Scaffolding Safety Resources, Stepladder Safety in Construction and Hand Signals for machinery operators.
WorksafeBC’s website section dedicated to TMG, Meeting guides and safety talks offers 113 PDF’s that can be printed out and distributed to workers. These can be found at:
Additional information and resources are available from WorksafeBC’s industry-funded safety associations:
the BC Construction Safety Alliance, BC Crane Safety, and the BC Common Ground Alliance.
1, 2, 3 – https://www.worksafebc.com/en/about-us/what-we-do/high-risk-strategies/construction
4, 5, 6 –https://www.worksafebc.com/en/about-us/what-we-do/high-risk-strategies/construction/updates-and-results