Workplace fatalities are on the rise in 2018 according to a University of Regina associate professor.
Dr. Sean Tucker says so far Saskatchewan has 37 workplace fatalities. In 2017 the province only registered 22 workplace deaths.
Tucker said this comes after a couple years of improvement in workplace fatality numbers.
“We had an elevated number of fatalities between 2009-2014, they declined after that for three years but this year it seems like it’s going to be quite high.”
Tucker says current legislation allows workers to have the right to refuse unsafe work, and he would like to see it change slightly.
“What I would like to see, given that young folks are exposed to hazards in the workplace and sustain serious injuries and fatalities, is provision in the legislation that would allow co-workers to refuse work on behalf of a younger, vulnerable worker.”
Tucker says prevention, including aggressive Public Service Announcements to remind workers of their workplace rights, would be beneficial to keeping workplace injury and death rates low.
Over the last three years, about a quarter of 14 and 15 year old students in Saskatchewan schools surveyed say that workplace injuries are a common and expected occurrence.