Determinants of Injury and Death in Canadian Firefighters: A Case for a National Firefighter Wellness Surveillance System

Occupational injury is a significant concern facing the Canadian workforce resulting in lost work time

and income, medical expenses, compensation costs, and long-term health problems or disability.

Previous research has shown health risks associated with employment as a firefighter, and exposure

to a variety of injury-related hazards in the course of their occupation. Extreme temperatures, toxic

substances, strenuous physical labour, violence and other traumatic events are potential risks that

firefighters may experience when responding to emergency situations.

The purpose of this report is to describe injury, disease and death among Canadian firefighters. The

report aims to help the reader to understand the causes of injury, disease and death among Canadian

firefighters through an extensive review of previous research, as well as a detailed analysis of injury

claims data. Claims data from the Association of Workers’ Compensation Boards of Canada (AWCBC)

and WorkSafeBC for the years 2006 to 2015 for professional and volunteer firefighters are presented

to define priority issues for targeted health promotion and injury prevention interventions.

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