'Unacceptable': Newfoundland and Labrador reports 140 workplace deaths in five years

The area is pooling opinions on its workplace compensation system

'Unacceptable': Newfoundland and Labrador reports 140 workplace deaths in five years

Newfoundland and Labrador has reaffirmed its commitment to enhancing safety practices after the province reported more than 100 deaths due to workplace incidents. Digital Government and Service Minister Sarah Stoodley has revealed that in the last five years, 140 workers died because of workplace incidents and occupational disease.

"This is unacceptable," stated Stoodley.

According to the minister, residents and workers in the province deserve the right to safe and incident-free work environments.

"This is why Digital Government and Service NL continues to engage with employers, workers and labour groups to enhance safety practices," said the minister. "Working together, we enforce strong safety standards, increase safety awareness, and ensure adequate safety training in workplaces throughout our province."

She stressed that everyone has the responsibility to promote health and safety; and renewing commitment to healthy workplace environments will ensure that workers can return to families and friends every day.

Stoodley made the remarks at the beginning of Safety and Health Week - which underscores the importance of preventing injury and illness in the workplace.

Her statement also came after attending an event marking the National Day of Mourning, which she said sent a powerful reminder that "safety is everyone's responsibility."

During the event, flags at provincial government buildings across the province were lowered at half-mast to remember the individuals who injured or died in the workplace.

Read more: Newfoundland and Labrador to hike minimum wage in April

It saw the attendance of Premier Andrew Furey, who also urged the renewal of the public's commitment to workplace safety.

"When it comes to health and safety, there are no compromises. It is the collective responsibility of government, employers and employees to ensure that all workers return home safe and healthy at the end of every workday," said Furey.

"I encourage all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to renew their commitment to occupational health and safety, today and every day."

New strategic plan

As part of the government's commitment to promote safe and healthy workplaces, WorkplaceNL is seeking the public's opinion on issues impacting workers, injured workers, employers, and the workplace compensation system.

The responses will be used for WorkplaceNL's 2023-2025 strategic plan, which can impact on how the organisation can ensure a balance between fair compensation for injured workers and financial interest of employers.

"We know that employers, workers and our safety sector partners are as committed to making our province a healthy and safe place to work as we are, and I encourage everyone to share their ideas on where to focus in 2023-2025," said WorkplaceNL chief executive officer Dennis Hogan.   

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