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February 8, 2018

WorkSafeBC releases three-year strategy to reduce serious injuries in the construction sector

Richmond, B.C. (Feb. 7, 2018) — WorkSafeBC has released a new three-year plan to help employers reduce serious injuries in the construction sector. The 2018-2020 Construction High-Risk Strategy is designed to prevent unsafe acts or conditions that cause workplace injuries and fatalities.

“The serious injury rate in the construction sector is much higher than in most other sectors,” said Dan Strand, Director of Prevention Field Services for WorkSafeBC. “Our goal with the high-risk strategies is simple — to reduce the number of serious injuries.”

The high-risk strategy for the construction industry is based on three areas:

  • Health and safety responsibilities: WorkSafeBC officers will conduct workplace inspections focused on health and safety planning and supervision. They will engage prime contractors, owners, employers, supervisors and workers to promote effective supervision and planning to prevent the development of unsafe working conditions and practices.
  • Tools, equipment and processes: WorkSafeBC will focus on the selection of the right tool, equipment or process to reduce workplace incidents resulting in serious injury and the development of high-risk violations at workplaces.
  • Partnerships and collaborations: The focus will include working with internal and external stakeholders, like the BC Construction Safety Alliance, to encourage and foster communication to proactively respond to evolving industry challenges and emerging risks.

WorkSafeBC’s high-risk strategies identify and target industries and employers with a high risk of serious workplace injury and a significant contribution to the serious-injury rate. High-risk strategies include four industry sectors: construction, forestry, health care and manufacturing.

More information about the construction high-risk strategy, including 2018 deliverables and timelines, is available at


Quick Facts:

  • The serious injury rate in the construction sector is much higher than the average in other sectors. In 2016, the serious injury rate in construction was 0.8 per 100 person-years of employment, compared to an average of 0.3 across all sectors in B.C.
  • Falls from heights are the leading cause of injury for construction workers in B.C., representing 29 per cent of all claims costs in 2016. From 2012 to 2016, falls from ladders injured or killed 2,012 workers in the construction sector.
  • Asbestos is the number-one killer of workers in B.C. From 2007 to 2016, 606 workers died in B.C. from diseases related to asbestos exposure. Recognizing this, WorkSafeBC has developed initiatives tailored to residential demolition/renovation and institutional, commercial and industrial construction.