Sask. safety funding needs scrutiny amid highest workplace death ranking: auditor’s report

A construction worker works from a lift in a new housing development on Friday, Oct. 14, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Saskatchewan’s provincial auditor says the province has the highest rate of workplace death in the country and more examination is needed of funding given to safety associations.

The province has a workplace death rate of 4.4 people per 100,000 full-time equivalent employees.

Provincial Auditor Tara Clemett said Saskatchewan’s Workplace Compensation Board (WCB) collected over $11 million in premiums from employee members in 2022 to fund the operations of safety associations, but WCB needs to oversee that the funding is being used for the intended purposes of things like safety training.

The report noted that WCB needs to verify that:

  • information is being shared from safety associations to employees
  • more detailed expectations are needed for what is considered eligible costs
  • a formal review of key financial information is needed
  • an evaluation is needed of whether safety associations are reducing injury rates

The report added that five of seven industries represented by safety associations had a higher injury rate than the provincial injury rate in 2022.

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The Provincial Auditor’s 2023 Report was released Tuesday, noting several issues in education, as well as Saskatchewan’s Income Support program.


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