Day of Mourning for Workers Killed or Injured on the Job



    THE CONSEIL DU PATRONAT DU QUEBEC COMMEMORATES VICTIMS AND A RECORD YEAR
    IN TERMS OF FEWER WORKPLACE ACCIDENTS

    MONTREAL, April 28 /CNW Telbec/ - "Every accident, illness and death at
work is deplorable, and no employer is insensitive to such an incident at his
or her workplace," said Yves-Thomas Dorval, president of the Conseil du
patronat du Québec (CPQ), on the occasion of the 2009 Day of Mourning for
Workers Killed or Injured on the Job, which takes place Tuesday, April 28.
    The CPQ commemorated the Day of Mourning by remembering the victims of
occupational disease and accidents and by drawing attention to the importance
of constantly improving prevention practices. It also highlighted the
remarkable progress accomplished in prevention in Quebec. For the eighth
straight year, the absolute number of workplace accidents has continued to
drop, from 138 403 in 2000 to 104 491 in 2008.
    The progress is especially outstanding when the number of workers covered
by the workplace health and safety insurance plan is taken into consideration.
In 2000, the accident rate was 1 out of 20 workers; since then it has
decreased by a third, to 1 out of 30 in 2008. An analysis of the statistics
going back to 1986, when the rate was 1 out of 10 workers (earliest data
available), demonstrates that the rate has decreased by two-thirds since that
time.
    "These improvements are extremely positive, and should not go unnoticed,"
said Mr. Dorval. "They reflect constant prevention efforts by the vast
majority of employers. And it should be noted that companies did not wait for
heavier fines, as proposed in Bill 35, to make prevention a true priority."

    Deaths by accident: Quebec shows better results than rest of Canada

    Any death at work is a death too many, but the CPQ noted from the
statistics that the number of deaths also decreased from the previous year:
195 in 2008 compared to 207 in 2007. These numbers should be considered with
caution because more than half of the deaths in 2008 (103) were the result of
occupational illnesses attributable to practices that were stopped almost 30
years ago.
    Quebec's record is laudable compared to the rest of Canada. With a death
rate of 5.72 per 100 000 workers in 2007 (last available comparison), Quebec
has the fourth lowest rate among Canadian provinces. In the same year,
Ontario's rate was 9.17. Once again this year, Quebec had a lower death rate
than the Canadian average.
    "This enviable record shows that the incentive method is much more
productive than punitive measures or heavier regulations that come from the
implementation of new priority groups, as demanded by unions. The CPQ
continues to favour cooperation and flexibility," said Mr. Dorval.
    All numbers cited in this news release are official statistics provided
by the Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CSST) or
calculated by the CPQ from official numbers.

    The Conseil du patronat du Québec brings together many of the province's
largest companies, as well as the vast majority of sector-based employers'
associations, making it the sole employers' confederation in Quebec.

    
                              INFORMATION SHEET

       Workplace health and safety in Quebec: Two decades of progress

    Since the CSST's adoption of rates based on performance in preventing
workplace accidents in 1990, as well as the creation of prevention mutuals and
sustained efforts to raise awareness, the absolute number of workplace
accidents has decreased considerably as has the number of workers covered.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Year    Workplace    Occupa-   Deaths   Workers       Accident rate(*)
            accidents    tional             covered
                         disease
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2008   104 491 (2)   4 267 (2)   195   3 158 000   1/30.2 workers   3.3%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2007   107 612 (2)   5 557 (2)   207   3 136 800   1/29.1 workers   3.4%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2006   117 545 (2)   4 987 (2)   206   3 079 400   1/26.2 workers   3.8%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2005   121 293 (2)   4 638 (2)   223   3 043 600   1/25.1 workers   3.9%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2004   128 104 (2)   4 802 (2)   176   3 016 200   1/23.5 workers   4.2%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2003   130 633 (2)   5 091 (2)   175   2 978 100   1/22.8 workers   4.3%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2002   132 485 (2)   4 971 (2)   188   2 950 800   1/22.3 workers   4.4%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2001   135 997 (2)   5 286 (2)   180   2 877 400   1/21.2 workers   4.7%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2000   138 403 (2)   5 114 (2)   180   2 823 366   1/20.4 workers   4.9%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1999   133 406 (2)   5 221 (2)   164   2 730 345   1/20.5 workers   4.8%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1998   132 884 (2)   5 312 (2)   208   2 692 257   1/20.3 workers   4.9%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1997   133 362 (2)   5 346 (2)   202   2 637 932   1/19.8 workers   5.0%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1996   118 590 (1)   3 873 (1)    95   2 597 538   1/21.9 workers   4.6%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1995   127 666 (1)   4 090 (1)   148   2 538 058   1/19.9 workers   5.0%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1994   131 372 (1)   4 576 (1)   130   2 477 480   1/18.9 workers   5.3%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1993   132 250 (1)   4 102 (1)   134   2 365 765   1/17.8 workers   5.5%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1992   146 765 (1)   4 176 (1)   111   2 369 519   1/16.1 workers   6.1%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1991   176 719 (1)   4 226 (1)   147   2 235 610   1/12.7 workers   7.9%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1990   205 048 (1)   4 196 (1)   185   2 401 359   1/11.7 workers   8.5%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1989   219 222 (3)       -         -   2 468 732   1/11.3 workers   8.8%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1988   215 867 (3)       -         -   2 452 161   1/11.4 workers   8.8%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1987   217 291 (3)       -         -   2 412 512   1/11.1 workers   9.0%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1986   213 311 (3)       -         -   2 216 098   1/10.4 workers   9.6%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    (1) Accepted and compensated workplace injuries (accidents and
        occupational illness with work interruption).
    (2) Number of files open between January 1 and December 31 and for which,
        at March 31 the following year, the last decision given was "request
        for compensation accepted."
    (3) Accepted and compensated workplace accidents (including occupational
        illness).

    Source: CSST
    (*) Compilation by the CPQ
    




For further information:

For further information: Patrick Leblanc, Director of Communications,
(514) 288-5161, ext. 226 (office), (514) 571-6400 (cell.)


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