Chen, Hébert and Bittle: Number of work-related fatalities in Canada 10 to 13 times higher than official statistics

Ashley Chen (former MA Student), Jasmine Hébert (PhD Student) and Steven Bittle (Associate Professor) recently published an article in the journal Labour/Le Travail that critically examines official statistics on work-related death in Canada. Relying on a range of data sources, and adopting a broad definition of what constitutes a work-related fatality, the authors generate a revised estimate of the number of annual work-related fatalities in Canada. They estimate the number of annual work-related fatalities in Canada is at least 10 to 13 times higher than the approximately 900-1,000 annual average fatalities reported in official statistics. This makes work-related fatalities one of the leading causes of death in this country.

The authors hope their research helps to expose the serious and systematic underestimation of work-related fatalities in this country, a problem which only reinforces the historic belief that people are injured or sickened at work in limited (accidental) circumstances. The results of their study were featured extensively in the media recently. You can read articles about it on the CBC website, the Fulcrum, and in French on the website of ICI Radio-Canada. You can also listen to CBC’s Ottawa Morning interview with Steven Bittle.