British Columbia

What's the job with the highest number of injuries in B.C.? The answer may surprise you

It's not an occupation most people would consider dangerous, but, according to WorkSafeBC, health-care assistants have the highest number of on-the-job injuries in the province.

No it's not logging, construction or mining.

Health-care assistants are at the highest risk of on-the-job injury of any occupation in B.C., according to WorkSafeBC. (Genevieve Milord/CBC)

It's not an occupation most people would consider dangerous, but, according to WorkSafeBC, health-care assistants have the highest number of on-the-job injuries in the province.

The surprising statistic is at the centre of the "Hearts and Hands" conference, a one day event bringing together over 250 health-care assistants from across the Lower Mainland.

According to WorkSafeBC, overexertion, acts of violence, slips, trips and falls are the most common injuries suffered  by working health-care assistants, a sector which includes community health workers, residential-care aides and home support workers, among others. 

"We've seen an 11 per cent increase in the last five years — from 2,961 time-loss claims in 2012 to 3,274 claims in 2016," said WorkSafeBC's Stephen Symon. 

There are more than 32,000 health-care assistants in B.C.

The predominantly female workforce accounts for 36 percent of all injuries reported in the health-care sector. 

The Hearts and Hands conference takes place at the Italian Culture Centre and is focused is on the "health, well-being and soft-skill development" of workers, according to a news release. 

A similar conference is held in Victoria October 26.  

Health-care assistants take part in a laughter yoga class at a conference to address the high rate of workplace sickness and injuries in the occupation. (Genevieve Milord/CBC)