A Snapshot of BC-based Tree Services Incident Metrics (2016-2020)

Public data is made available via Worksafe BC's website that outlines industry-specific safety performance. How to find and interpret that information might come easier to an occupational health and safety professional, but is that information being relayed effectively to workers? In 2021 and 2022 I began work on gathering information through Worksafe BC's public data to provide some ease of access to tree workers. The data included in this article is drawn from 2 distinct 2016-2020 datasets for the Tree Services Classification Unit (#764062): loss-time injury statistics, and base insurance premiums. I produced these visualizations using Worksafe BC public data (sources at the bottom of this article). 

The first data I reviewed was base insurance premiums rate changes including 2016-2020 and extending a couple years in either direction for additional perspective. Base premiums set by Worksafe BC are determined with a complex formula of data, but in simplified terms can be considered a lagging indicator of an industry's safety performance. The most striking numbers in the Tree Services Classification Unit data reviewed appear at either end of the graph suggest little progress has been made on injury prevention in nearly 10 years. 

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The second dataset I reviewed was loss-time injury statistics which were obtained through an inquiry to Worksafe BC staff. There were a total of 498 injuries that resulted in loss-time injury claims between 2016 and 2020 in the Tree Services Classification Unit. The incident category breakdown is a benefit to inform targeted prevention activities. The top 3 categories in this case account for 68% of all loss-time injuries during this review period.

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Within the loss-time injury dataset was age and gender categories which contain few surprises for anyone who has worked in the treecare environment for more than a few years. Nearly half of all loss-time injuries recorded between 2016 and 2020 occurred within the 25-34 age group. Unfortunately, data is not available to understand what proportion of age groups participates as workers in the Tree Services Classification Unit.

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Data sources: 

Worksafe BC. (n.d.-a). Find your classification unit, industry, or rate. https://www.worksafebc.com/en/insurance/know-coverage-costs/find-classification-industry-rate

Worksafe BC. (n.d.-b). Industry Claims Analysis. Public information request.

Worksafe BC. (n.d.-c). Roles, rights & responsibilities. https://www.worksafebc.com/en/health-safety/create-manage/rights-responsibilities

Worksafe BC. (n.d.-d). Workers Compensation Act. https://www.worksafebc.com/en/law-policy/occupational-health-safety/searchable-ohs-regulation/workers-compensation-act

Worksafe BC. (2022). Annual statistical reports. https://www.worksafebc.com/en/about-us/shared-data/facts-and-figures/statistical-reports