Fewer N.S. workers injured in 2006

But there were 22 work-related deaths: report

Fewer workers were hurt on the job in Nova Scotia last year than in 2005 and 2004, according to a new report.

The Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia's annual report found there were 31,810 claims in 2006, down from 34,017 in 2005 and 34,166 in 2004.

However, the province still has one of the highest rates of workplace injury in the country, said CEO Nancy MacCready-Williams.

"In 2006, 22 people died as a result of workplace injury in this province — almost one person every two weeks," she wrote in the report.

According to the WCB report, there were 8,274 lost-time injuries, a decline of 8.5 per cent from 2005. And those who did miss work didn't miss as much, with an average of 105.3 days lost to injury down from 113.7 in 2005.

Sprains and strains were the most frequent type of injury and most of them involved the back.

The report found that while Nova Scotia employers pay the second highest assessment rates in Canada, injured workers receive some of the lowest levels of benefits.

"In the past the WCB focused on how to take care of those hurt at work. Now our focus is twofold: Let’s prevent injury in the first place, but if you are injured, let’s work with you to get your life back by returning to work in a safe and timely manner," MacCready-Williams said.

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