BC farms have been working hard to stay safe, an accomplishment AgSafeBC chair Don Dahr says everyone can take credit for.
“With more than 24,000 workers in the agriculture subsector in 2019, a reduction in the number of time-lost claims is something everyone of us should be proud of,” he told the association’s annual meeting last month.
The latest data from WorkSafeBC, which allocates a portion of premiums from the agriculture sector to fund AgSafe’s activities, indicates an injury rate in agriculture during 2019 of 2.3 per 100, the lowest in five years. This compares to a provincial rate of 2.2.
While time-lost claims in 2019 were on par with the five-year average at 572, they were down significantly from 620 the previous year. The number of serious injury claims was at a five-year low of 117.
Overexertion was the single most common cause of injury in the farm sector in 2019, accounting for 18% of claims. The site was usually a working surface. Strains accounted for 47% of injuries, with fingers, wrists, hands and the back being the most commonly afflicted body parts.
General farm workers were the most susceptible to injury, with this group filing 38% of the 2,913 claims logged in 2019. Greenhouse and nursery workers were the second most common group, accounting for 24% of claims.