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Safety Matters


Our blog discussing workplace safety opportunities in Nova Scotia and around the world.

Workplace Safety is the Best Gift of All
More than 200 retail workers were injured during the busy holiday shopping season last year, according to WCB Nova Scotia. 

The most common injury among employees in the sector is muscle strain, usually caused by lifting, bending and reaching for all those perfect holiday gifts. Slips, trips and falls on slippery surfaces are a close second.

“The holidays are such a busy time for everyone. Employers, workers and shoppers need to keep safety top of mind all year long, but especially during the holidays, says Shelley Rowan, WCB Nova Scotia’s VP of Prevention and Service Delivery. “Making seasons bright shouldn’t come at the cost of a preventable workplace injury,” 

Despite the continued growth of online shopping and increased retail sales in November related to shopping events like Black Friday, according to the most recent figures from Stats Canada, December is still the busiest shopping month of the year. That generally means more workers and longer store hours.

Lifting heavy objects, rushing and fatigue are a few of the most common causes of injury for retail workers. “Taking that extra moment to make sure a task is done safely can make a huge difference,” says Shelley. The average length of time retail workers are off work due to injury is six weeks. The total cost of all lost-time claims in the sector last year was almost $5 million.

About the Retail and Beverage Sector:
Total reported claims in 2016: 2,594
Total Time-Loss Claims 2016: 646
Number of covered workers in the sector: 48,134

For more information about workplace safety during the holidays, and all year long, visit

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