In its latest publication, WorkSafeBC lists data from the last 30 years in relation to back injuries. The condition affects between 12,000 and 15,000 workers in the province each year.
According to the British Columbia Workers Compensation Board, back injuries account for more days off work than any other injury. This is a fact proven by Statistics Canada: one worker in the province out of five suffers from back problems. Between 2003 and 2012, this type of injury affected between 12,000 and 15,000 workers each year, totaling over 140,000 requests for compensation, according to WorkSafeBC. According to other data collected between 1980 and 2012, back pain constituted between 22% and 28% of the occupational injury claims processed by the provincial organization each year.
Women more and more concerned
In its publication, WorkSafeBC is also interested in the issue of gender. In the last decade, about two thirds of compensation claims were made by men although women were more subject to this type of injury. During the last 30 years, the share of workplace accident claims submitted by women rose significantly, from 15% in 1980 to 40% in 2012. This increase is explained by the growing participation of women in the labour market, improved health coverage in the services sector and the greater similarity that exists today between jobs held by men and women.
From the point of view of age, claims relating to the back are most significant between the ages of 35 and 44. Between 2003 and 212 they represented 26% of total claims. In comparison, the 15-24 age group had 19%. Finally, the vast majority of back injuries result from excessive effort, representing 67 and 70% of accident claims between 2003 and 2012. Far behind are falls, at 12% of claims.