2018 Occupational injuries amongst federal jurisdiction employers

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The data used in this publication are extracted from Employer Annual Hazardous Occurrence Reports (EAHOR) submitted to the Labour Program by federally regulated employers. The Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Regulations under the Canada Labour Code stipulate this reporting requirement.

This publication presents both information and analysis on the Disabling Injury Frequency Rate (DIFR) and the Fatal Injury Frequency Rate (FIFR). This information is presented by federal jurisdiction industry sector and by province/territory. You can locate the definitions of these rates and other relevant terms in the Glossary of this publication. You can find Information on all injury rates and historical data dating back to 2008 on the Government of Canada’s Open Data Portal.

Industry sectors under federal jurisdiction

According to the Canada Labour Code, federal jurisdiction encompasses any work and/or undertaking or business that is within the legislative authority of the Parliament of Canada. This includes all work deemed to be for the common good of at least 2 provinces and outside the exclusive authority of provincial legislatures.

The names of the industry sectors have changed from previous publications in order to better describe and group the work within these industry sectors. Only the names of the industry sectors have changed. The number of employers covered by each sector has remained stable, except ‘Public Service Departments’ and ‘Crown Corporations’. They are now combined to become ‘Federal Public Services/Public Service Departments/Crown Corporations'.

The industrial sectors included and their current/previous abbreviations are as follows:

  • AIRT
    • Current: Air Transportation
    • Previous: Air Transport
  • BANK
    • Current: Banking/Banks
    • Previous: Banking
  • BRID
    • Current: Interprovincial Infrastructure (Bridges, Tunnels, Canals, Causeways)
    • Previous: Bridges and Tunnels
  • BROAD
    • Current: Broadcasting (Television, Radio, Internet)
    • Previous: Broadcasting
  • COMM
    • Current: Communications
    • Previous: Communication
  • ENER
    • Current: Energy/ Mining/Mineral Processing
    • Previous: Energy and Mining
  • FEED
    • Current: Feed, Flour and Seed
    • Previous: Feed, Flour and Seed
  • GRAIN
    • Current: Grain Handling/Grain Elevators
    • Previous: Grain Elevators
  • INDG
    • Current: Indigenous
    • Previous: Aboriginal
  • LONG
    • Current: Longshoring/Stevedoring /Port/Harbour Operations/Pilotage
    • Previous: Longshoring
  • PIPE
    • Current: Pipeline Transportation
    • Previous: Pipelines
  • POST
    • Current: Postal Services/Postal Contractors
    • Previous: Postal Contractors
  • PUBS
    • Current: Federal Public Services/Public Service Departments/Crown Corporations
    • Previous: Public Service Departments and Crown Corporations
  • RAIL
    • Current: Rail Transportation
    • Previous: Rail Transport
  • ROAD
    • Current: Road Transportation
    • Previous: Road Transport
  • WATER
    • Current: Water Transportation (Shipping and Ferries)
    • Previous: Water Transport

National injury highlights

  • The national 2018 DIFR is 9.30. This is an increase of 1.4% from the 2017 DIFR of 9.17. It is the sixth lowest DIFR value since 1982
  • The national 2018 FIFR is 34.24. This is an increase of 21.9% from the 2017 FIFR of 28.08. It is the highest FIFR in the past 10 years, since 2009
  • There were 49,366 total injuries (disabling, fatal and minor) reported to the Labour Program in 2018, a 3.3% increase from 2017 (47,800). Of the 2018 total injuries, 21,378 (43.3%) were disabling injuries, 79 (0.16%) were fatal injuries and 27,909 (56.5%) were minor injuries. Only the proportion of minor injuries decreased from 2017
  • Of the 6 industry sectors with the highest 2018 DIFR values, the feed sector underwent the most noted increase over the last 5 years. The DIFR for this sector increased by 13%, rising from 9.74 in 2014 to 11.02 in 2018. This sector is also the only sector among the 6 to be above the national DIFR in 2018 and not above the national DIFR in 2017. See Chart 1.4 for DIFR values for all sectors and Charts 3.1 (a) and (b) for historical trends of the 6 industry sectors with the highest 2018 DIFR values
  • The 3 sectors with the highest FIFR values for 2018 were road transportation (128.66) longshoring/stevedoring /port/harbour operations/pilotage (longshoring) (118.39) and feed, flour and seed (feed) (98.81) (See Chart 3.2). Since 2008, road transportation has consistently reported FIFR values above the national rates. Longshoring and feed, however, have fluctuated, reporting no fatalities in 2014 (longshoring), 2015 (feed and longshoring), 2016 (feed) and 2017 (longshoring)
  • The Indigenous, federal public services, and transportation (road, rail, and air) sectors reported fatalities in every year from 2014 to 2018. Amongst them, AIRT and PUBS reported a 2018 FIFR below the national rate. See Chart 1.5 for FIFR values for all sectors and Chart 3.2 for historical trends of the 3 industry sectors with the highest 2018 FIFR values
  • Overall, 13 of the 16 sectors under federal jurisdiction reported fatalities in 2018

Important note: More detailed and historical injury data is available through the Government of Canada’s Open Data Portal.

Occupational injuries for federal jurisdiction by industry sector, 2018

Disabling injuries: The combined total of the following industry sectors made up two-thirds of all reported disabling injuries in the federal jurisdiction in 2018:

  • road transportation
  • air transportation, and
  • postal services (See Chart 1.1)

However, these 3 sectors only represent less than 30% of total employees in the federal jurisdiction (See Chart 1.2). This distribution is roughly identical to the 2017 figures.

Chart 1.1 Percentage of reported disabling injuries within federal jurisdiction industry sectors, 2018
Description immediately follows the chart.

*All Others:

  • COMM: 5.1%
  • BANK: 3.8%
  • RAIL: 3.0%
  • WATER: 2.6%
  • LONG 1.7%
  • BCAST 1.7%
  • FEED 1.0%
  • INDG 0.8%
  • GRAIN: 0.4%
  • PIPE: 0.1%
  • ENER 0.1%
  • BRID: 0.01%
Text description of Chart 1.1
Industry sector Percentage of disabling injuries
Road transportation 34%
Air transportation 17%
Postal services/Postal contractors 16%
Federal public services/Public service departments/Crown corporations 13%
All others* 20%
Chart 1.2 Percentage of reported employees within federal jurisdiction industry sectors, 2018
Description immediately follows the chart.

*All Others:

  • BANK: 21.8%
  • COMM: 8.1%
  • RAIL: 3.0%
  • BROAD: 2.5%
  • WATER: 2.2%
  • INDG: 2.1%
  • FEED: 0.9%
  • LONG: 0.7%
  • GRAIN and PIPE 0.6% each
  • ENER: 0.2%
  • BRID: 0.04%
Text description of Chart 1.2
Industry sector Percentage of employees
Road transportation 15%
Air transportation 10%
Postal services/Postal contractors 5%
Federal public services/Public service departments/Crown corporations 28%
All others* 43%

Fatal injuries: The total number of reported fatalities has increased by 29%, from 61 in 2017 to 79 in 2018. The increase can be attributed partly to the fact that the road transport sector reported 16 more fatalities in 2018 (47) than 2017 (31).

Chart 1.3 Percentage of reported fatal work injuries in federal jurisdiction industry sectors, 2018
Description immediately follows the chart.

*All others include 2 fatalities each for the banking, feed, flour, and seed, longshoring and water transportation sectors. It also includes 1 fatality in each of the following 3 sectors:

  • communications
  • pipeline transportation, and
  • grain handling/grain elevators
Text description of Chart 1.3
Industry sector Percentage of fatal work injuries
Road transportation 59%
Air transportation 6%
Broadcasting (television, radio, internet) 6%
Federal public services/Public service departments/Crown corporations 6%
Indigenous 4%
Rail transportation 4%
All Others* 14%

DIFR: In 2018, 6 of the 16 industry sectors under federal jurisdiction reported DIFRs higher than the national rate of 9.30 (See Chart 1.4). These industries were:

  • postal services
  • longshoring
  • road transport
  • air transport
  • feed, flour and seed, and
  • water transportation

The top 6 sectors in both 2017 and 2018 remained identical. Postal Services is the only sector to have reported a decrease from 2017 (41.39) to 2018 (37.82) (See Charts 3.1(a) and (b)).

Chart 1.4 Disabling injury frequency rate (DIFR), by federal jurisdiction industry sector, 2018
Description immediately follows the chart.
Text description of Chart 1.4
Industry sector Disabling injury frequency rate
Postal services/Postal contractors 37.82
Longshoring/Stevedoring/Port/Harbour operations/Pilotage 21.13
Road transportation 19.76
Air transportation 16.29
Feed, flour and seed 11.02
Water transportation (shipping and ferries) 10.76
Rail transportation 8.71
Grain handling/Grain elevators 6.88
Broadcasting (television, radio, internet) 6.29
Communications 5.54
Federal public services/Public service departments/Crown corporations 4.43
Indigenous 3.59
Energy/Mining /Mineral processing 3.33
Interprovincial infrastructure (bridges, tunnels, canals, causeways) 2.43
Banking/Banks 1.65
Pipeline transportation 1.25
National rate 9.30

FIFR: Of the 16 industry sectors that fall within federal jurisdiction, 13 reported fatalities in 2018. Nine of these 13 industry sectors all reported FIFR values above the national rate (34.24):

  • road transport
  • longshoring/stevedoring/port/harbour operations/pilotage
  • feed, flour, and seed
  • broadcasting (television, radio, internet)
  • pipeline transportation
  • grain handling/grain elevators
  • indigenous
  • rail transport, and
  • water transportation (shipping and ferries)

In comparison to 2017, the road transport, feed, flour, and seed, indigenous, grain handling, and broadcasting sectors were the 5 sectors above the national rate in both years. Along with these 5 sectors, the following industry sectors reported fatalities in 2017 and 2018:

  • rail transportation
  • air transportation
  • federal public services/public service departments/crown corporations
  • communications, and
  • banking
Chart 1.5 Fatal injury frequency rate (FIFR), by federal jurisdiction industry sector, 2018
Description immediately follows the chart.
Text description of Chart 1.5
Industry sector Fatal injury frequency rate
Road transportation 128.66
Longshoring/Stevedoring/Port/Harbour operations/Pilotage 118.39
Feed, flour and seed 98.81
Broadcasting (television, radio, internet) 87.80
Pipeline transportation 73.80
Grain handling/Grain elevators 70.91
Indigenous 62.59
Rail transportation 40.43
Water transportation (shipping and ferries) 38.02
Air transportation 22.54
Federal public services/Public service departments/Crown corporations 7.77
Communications 5.12
Banking/Banks 4.09
National rate 34.24

Occupational injuries for federal employers by province or territory, 2018

Disabling injuries: In 2018, 4 provinces (Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta) accounted for 84% of all reported disabling injuries (see Chart 2.1). This can be attributed to these 4 provinces’ combined share (85%) of all reported federal jurisdiction employment (see Chart 2.2). There has been little change in the regional distribution of the total 2018 disabling injury numbers when compared to 2017.

Chart 2.1 Percentage of reported disabling injuries by province/territory, 2018
Description immediately follows the chart.

*All others:

  • Nova Scotia: 3.3%
  • Saskatchewan: 2.9%
  • New Brunswick: 2.2%
  • Newfoundland and Labrador: 1.3%
  • Prince Edward Island: 0.5%
  • Northwest Territories, Yukon, Nunavut 0.2% each
  • Foreign: 0.1%
Text description of Chart 2.1
Province/Territory Percentage of disabling injuries
Ontario 36%
Quebec 20%
British Columbia 16%
Alberta 12%
Manitoba 5%
All Others* 11%
Chart 2.2 Percentage of reported federal jurisdiction employment by province/territory, 2018
Description immediately follows the chart.

*All others:

  • Saskatchewan: 2.9%
  • Nova Scotia: 2.7%
  • New Brunswick: 2.5%
  • Newfoundland and Labrador: 1.3%
  • Foreign: 0.6%
  • Prince Edward Island: 0.5%
  • Northwest Territories and Yukon 0.2% each
  • Nunavut: 0.1%
Text description of Chart 2.2
Province/Territory Percentage of employees
Ontario 46%
Quebec 19%
British Columbia 11%
Alberta 10%
Manitoba 4%
All others* 11%

Fatal injuries: In 2018, 5 provinces (Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, Quebec and Saskatchewan) accounted for 86% of all reported fatal injuries (see Chart 2.3). Of these provinces, only Alberta’s share of fatal injuries increased from 11% in 2017 to 20% in 2018.

Chart 2.3 Percentage of fatal work injuries by province/territory, 2018
Description immediately follows the chart.
Text description of Chart 2.3
Province/Territory Percentage of fatal work injuries
Ontario 28%
Alberta 20%
British Columbia 18%
Quebec 10%
Saskatchewan 10%
Manitoba 8%
New Brunswick 3%
Nova Scotia 1%
Northwest Territories 1%
Yukon 1%

DIFR: A total of 5 provinces and 2 territories reported DIFR values above the national rate of 9.30 (see Chart 2.4). Of these, Nunavut, Alberta, Nova Scotia, Quebec, and the Yukon reported a higher DIFR value in 2018 than in 2017. British Columbia, Manitoba, and Nunavut maintained the highest DIFR values in 2018 when compared to 2017.

Chart 2.4 Disabling injury frequency rate (DIFR) by province/territory, 2018
Description immediately follows the chart.
Text description of Chart 2.4
Province/Territory Disabling injury frequency rate
Nunavut 17.81
British Columbia 13.59
Manitoba 12.29
Alberta 11.14
Nova Scotia 10.98
Quebec 10.14
Yukon 9.79
Saskatchewan 9.26
Newfoundland and Labrador 9.09
New Brunswick 8.05
Ontario 7.38
Northwest Territories 6.93
Prince Edward Island 6.07
Foreign 1.86
National rate 9.30

FIFR: Only Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island and Nunavut reported no fatalities in 2018 (see Chart 2.5). In comparison to 2017, only Saskatchewan, Alberta, Manitoba and British Columbia remain above the national FIFR. They have also reported higher FIFR values in 2018 than in 2017. Of note, the FIFR for Yukon is significantly higher than all the other provinces and territories. This is because it reported one fatality for approximately 4.6 million hours worked. This resulted in an FIFR of 217.62 fatalities per one billion hours worked for Yukon in 2018 compared to the national rate of 34.24.

Chart 2.5 Fatal injury frequency rate (FIFR) by province/territory, 2018
Description immediately follows the chart.
Text description of Chart 2.5
Province/Territory Fatal injury frequency rate
Yukon 217.62
Northwest Territories 187.41
Saskatchewan 118.77
Alberta 71.50
Manitoba 63.55
British Columbia 56.61
New Brunswick 33.46
Ontario 21.00
Quebec 18.51
Nova Scotia 15.33
National rate 34.24

Glossary

The following definitions are for the purpose of this publication only.

Disabling injury

Any employment injury or occupational disease that:

  • prevents an employee from reporting for work, or from effectively performing all the duties connected with the employee’s regular work, on any day subsequent to the day on which the occupational injury occurred, whether or not that subsequent day is a working day for that employee
  • results in the loss by an employee of a body member or a part thereof, or in a complete loss of the usefulness of a body member or part thereof, or
  • results in the permanent impairment of a bodily function of an employee

Disabling Injury Frequency Rate (DIFR)

Defined as the total number of disabling and fatal occupational injuries per one million hours worked. It is calculated based on the following formula: ((Total Disabling Injuries + Total Fatal Injuries)*1,000,000/Total Hours Worked).

Employee

Any person who has entered into or is employed under a contract of service or apprenticeship, written or oral, expressed or implied, whether by way of manual labour or otherwise. An employee is also any other person subject to the provisions of a workers’ compensation board act or any direction or order of a board.

Employment

  • All work or activities performed in carrying out assignments or requests made by the employer. It includes related activities not specifically covered by an assignment or request
  • Any voluntary work or activities undertaken while on duty for the benefit of the employer
  • Any activities undertaken while on duty with the consent or approval of the employer

Fatal injury

An occupational injury or disease resulting in death.

Fatal Injury Frequency Rate (FIFR)

Defined as the total number of fatal occupational injuries per one billion hours worked. It is calculated based on the following formula: (Total Fatal Injuries*1,000,000,000/Total Hours Worked).

Federal jurisdiction

Federal jurisdiction covers:

  • works, undertakings or businesses that are within the legislative authority of Parliament, and
  • work declared to be for the general advantage of 2 or more provinces outside the exclusive authority of the provincial legislatures

Federal jurisdiction defined under the Canada Labour Code covers specific industries and their infrastructures. Consult the section industry sectors under federal jurisdiction for the list of industries.

Full-time Equivalent (FTE)

Refers to the employment of one person full time. It may also refer to more than one person part time whose total working time is the equivalent of one person working full time. FTEs are measured in person-years. For example:

  • 100 people employed full time equals 100 FTEs
  • 10 people employed half time equals 5 FTEs
  • all 110 people combined represent 105 FTEs

Minor injury

An occupation injury or disease, excluding disabling injuries, for which treatment at a medical facility is provided.

Occupational injury

Any injury, disease or illness incurred by an employee in the performance of, or in connection with, his or her work.

Annex: Data charts

Chart 3.1 (a): Federal jurisdiction industry sectors with highest 2018 DIFR values, 2014 to 2018
Description immediately follows the chart.
Text description of Chart 3.1 (a)
Industry 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
National rate 9.25 9.42 9.13 9.17 9.30
Road transportation 18.38 17.59 16.26 18.32 19.76
Longshoring/Stevedoring/Port/Harbour operations/Pilotage 20.81 19.07 19.46 17.89 21.13
Postal services/Postal contractors 42.74 43.65 41.88 41.39 37.82
Chart 3.1 (b): Federal jurisdiction industry sectors with highest 2018 DIFR values, 2014 to 2018
Description immediately follows the chart.
Text description of Chart 3.1 (b)
Industry 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
National rate 9.25 9.42 9.13 9.17 9.30
Water transportation (shipping and ferries) 12.22 11.32 12.39 9.68 10.76
Feed, flour and seed 9.74 7.65 10.50 7.62 11.02
Air transportation 16.04 16.71 15.92 16.03 16.29
Chart 3.2: Federal jurisdiction industry sectors with highest 2018 FIFR values, 2014 to 2018
Description immediately follows the chart.
Text description of Chart 3.2
Industry 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
National rate 22.45 26.44 30.33 28.08 34.24
Feed, flour and seed 99.41 0.00 0.00 101.62 98.81
Longshoring/Stevedoring/Port/Harbour operations/Pilotage 0.00 0.00 66.88 0.00 118.39
Road transportation 61.33 98.65 96.43 91.00 128.66
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