Collecting Data for Good News

Sometimes, good news stories do not get the attention they deserve. In the late spring of 2017, Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) released its annual statistical report for 2016.

Click here to access the 2016 WSIB statistical report.

Based on the data provided, the report confirms that lost-time injury rates for workers in Ontario have continued to fall. Conversely, this means that workplaces in Ontario increased their focus to ensure that workers are safe. The WSIB numbers reflect that focus accordingly.

This information received very little media attention. There was a brief article posted in OHS Canada Magazine outlining the relevance of the report and its impact on Ontario’s workers.

Click here to read the article.

Even though there was not much media fanfare about this report, the results are significant. Lower lost-time injury rates show that progressive and positive workplace safety measures are working. It also means that there is increased emphasis on ensuring that injured workers are able to return to work as quickly as they can through the pro-active supports provided by workplace accommodations such as physical interventions, graduated return procedures, modified work, and re-training as needed.

All of this information is available to the public in the aforementioned statistical report. In addition, the report is interactive and allows users to build their own reports based on their particular area of interest. For the Health and Safety professional, the report builder provides a great tool to use for purposes of benchmarking and assessing different injury categories or rates based on specific industries and relevant demographic data.

Why is this important? Data, translated into information, is the tool that tells the story that allows organizations to make decisions. In this case, the story that is told speaks to the importance of continuing progress and positive interventions to keep workers safe.

It is definitely a story worth re-telling.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Based on your current knowledge of your workplace, using the WSIB’s report builder, build a report based on two or three injury categories for workers meeting your age group (demographic filter) for lost-time injuries.
  2. Build a similar report to analyze traumatic fatalities.
  3. As the Health and Safety Officer, how can you use the report builder to convince leaders in your organization to shape or shift health and safety practices?
  4. What types of new information did you discover based on the reports that you built?


Biohacking De-brief / Shutterstock

A year ago, this blogger posted an item exploring the ‘new’ practice of implanting microchips into employees for purposes of tracking and monitoring.

Click here to read Chipping In?

Since that time, I have shown the clip to a number of under-graduate and post-graduate students in both Human Resources Planning and Human Resources Analytics classes.

The response from these student has been unanimous. There was solid agreement that implanting microchips into employees is a really bad idea and not a single person would volunteer to have it done to themselves. When we looked at this possible practice from the perspective of a Human Resources professional, the responses were not as vehement. Some students could see the possible benefits of microchip technology implanted into employees for certain sectors, but the safety risks and possible human rights issues far outweighed the possible employer-related benefits. The consensus was still in place that this practice might be suitable for someone else but definitely ‘not for me’.

With this in mind, it is interesting to see how the movement to implement microchips, known as Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) technology, has expanded. It is a technology that is being accepted and practiced by both employers and employees as noted in a recent article published by

Click here to read an update on microchip implants.

Far from it being perceived as an invasive and risky procedure, the article explores how microchip technology provides for positive engagement with ourselves and with others. First, it speaks to our narcissistic needs as the technology provides massive amounts of data about ourselves. It also may provide comfort to those who see the collection of personal data by someone else as a sign of belonging and caring. If someone else is watching us all the time, it must mean that we are connected to and participating with each other in a way that goes beyond regular social interactions. What could be more fun socially than being invited to participate in an employment related ‘chip’ party where the chips are not for eating but for implanting? If everybody is doing it, why not join the party?

No matter what we may think about the use of implanted microchips for employees, this is definitely a technology that will continue to evolve and will continue to provoke our individual responses well into the future.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Do you agree that having a microchip implanted into your body would provide you with data that could help you in some way? Explain your rationale.
  2. What do you think about the use of individual technology that brings a feeling of connection and participation with others?
  3. As an employer, how could you use data from employee microchips to improve organizational performance?