Description: OPS_BLK_ENG






25 March 2013



Executive Director, Ottawa Police Services Board



Chief of Police, Ottawa Police Service









That the Ottawa Police Services Board receive this report for information. 




This report is provided to the Police Services Board to meet the Chief’s requirement under the Occupational Health & Safety Policy (Policy CR-15).  The policy states that:


On an annual basis, the Chief of Police shall provide an Occupational Health and Safety Report to the Board that reports on the frequency and severity of injuries, and the effectiveness of the policy and programs in place.”


Workplace accidents and injuries affect the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) in a variety of ways.  Direct impacts include pain and suffering experienced by injured members; monetary costs associated with compensation and treatment of injured members; and a decreased number of OPS members available to serve the City of Ottawa.  Indirect impacts include things like reduced member morale, suboptimal resource use, diminished operational performance, and unfavourable public perception of the OPS.   


This report contains a conventional analysis of incidents, accidents, and injuries that occurred in OPS workplaces in 2012.  Relevant information is summarized, tabulated, and graphed.  Some standard health and safety statistics are calculated and analyzed.  Data from 2012 are compared with data from previous years.  This report also includes a summary of initiatives that will be taken to help reduce accident and injury rates in 2013 and beyond.




Incidents, Accidents and Injuries Summary


When a member becomes injured or sick due to a workplace event, or becomes aware of an event that could have caused an injury or illness, the member is required to report the incident to a supervisor.  Supervisors must document each incident by completing an Injured on Duty Report (IODR).  IODRs are submitted to Health, Safety & Lifestyles (HS&L).  HS&L processes the reports, follows up with OPS stakeholders, and fulfils any third-party reporting requirements necessary for regulatory compliance.


Table 1 provides a summary of the 378 IODRs that were submitted in 2012.   Roughly two-thirds of reported incidents require first aid or medical attention.  In total, 91 incidents resulted in lost time from work.


Table 1:  Summary of all Injured on Duty Reports submitted in 2012.

Incident Severity Category


Number of Incidents

Incident Only

An incident occurred that could have caused an injury.  These incidents are sometimes called “near misses” or “close calls”.


First Aid Injury

An injury occurred, and first aid was administered.  However, no external health care was sought.


Health Care Injury

An injury occurred and external health care was sought from a doctor, chiropractor, or physiotherapist.  No time was lost from work beyond the original date of injury.


Lost Time Injury

An injury occurred, health care was sought, and time was lost from work beyond the original date of injury.





WSIB –Reportable Injuries


“Health Care Injuries” and “Lost Time Injuries” must be reported by the OPS to the Workplace, Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB).  Consequently, these types of injuries are referred to as “WSIB-reportable Injuries”.  Table 2 provides a more detailed breakdown of the 184 WSIB-reportable injuries that occurred in 2012. 


Table 2: Summary of all WSIB-reportable injuries from 2012.

Injury Category


Number of Injuries


Includes sprains, strains, and soft tissue injuries



Physical contact between a member of the public and a police officer



An injury caused by any factor not described above



Occur when there is exposure to a biological or chemical agent


Slips Trips Falls

Type of injury when a person falls



Injuries that occur as the result of a motor vehicle accident



Result when assaulted by another person



Caused by direct exposure to fire or impact from explosion





The most frequent injury category from 2012 was “musculoskeletal”.  Musculoskeletal injuries include things like sprains, strains, soft tissue injures, and repetitive strain injuries.  Direct causes of these types of injuries can be very diverse. 


Other noteworthy findings from the 2012 WSIB-reportable injury data include:

-          87% of injuries happened to sworn members (13% to civilian),

-          54% of injuries to civilian members and 37% of injuries to sworn members were classified as musculoskeletal (included strains, sprains, and soft tissue injuries),

-          41% of injuries to sworn members involved pursuing, arresting, or otherwise interacting with non-compliant individuals,  and

-          18% of injuries to sworn members occurred during training activities.


Frequency and Severity


Frequency and severity rates are statistics that are used in many industries to help evaluate safety performance.  Frequency refers to how often WSIB-reportable injuries occur.  Severity refers to how long injured workers tend to stay away from work in the event of a “Lost Time” injury.  Table 3 summarizes the OPS’s frequency and severity rates from 2011 – 2012.


Table 3:  Frequency and severity rates for 2011 - 2012.








In 2012, approximately 10% of OPS members reported an injury that resulted in the need for medical care and/or time away from work.  Frequency was 17% lower in 2012 compared to 2011.




If an OPS member missed work due to an injury in 2012, the average amount of time away from work was 160 hours per injury.  Severity was 8% higher in 2012 compared to 2011. 

FTEs Lost



When all injury time for all members is added together for 2012, the equivalent of 7.0 full-time employees was off work for the entire year due to injury.  FTEs Lost was 1% higher in 2012 compared to 2011.


Compared with 2011, the frequency of WSIB-reportable injuries decreased by 17%, and the severity of lost time injuries increased by 8%.  That means that fewer medical aid and health care injuries occurred.  However, the average amount of time spent away from work per lost time injury increased.  The total equivalent FTE loss was very similar in 2011 and 2012.


Year-to-year variations in injury frequency and severity rates are normal.  In 2011, the OPS began using enhanced data collection protocols to allow for more meaningful data analysis.  As the OPS continues to collect and analyze data in future years, the ability to provide statistical analysis will improve.  This will enable for objective determination of whether or not observed year-to-year variations are significant in nature, or simply within normal variation.    


OPS Trends


Table 4 shows the number of Injured on Duty Reports received by OPS between 2010 and 2012.  Compared to 2011, the numbers of Incident Only, Health Care, and Lost Time injuries in 2012 decreased by 13%, 25%, and 6%, respectively.  The number of First Aid injuries increased by 13%.  The total number of IODRs submitted decreased by 11%.


Table 4:  Number of Injured on Duty Reports: 2010 – 2012.

Incident Severity Category




Incident Only




First Aid




Health Care




Lost Time









There is year-to-year variation in the numbers of IODRs submitted.  As mentioned, the OPS continues to collect and analyze data in future years, the ability to provide meaningful statistical analysis will improve.  This will enable for objective determination of whether or not observed year-to-year variations are significant in nature, or simply within normal variation.


Comparisons to Other Employers


There is very limited public or published police-specific data against which to compare the OPS’s accident and injury statistics.  Provincial associations (e.g. Public Services Health & Safety Association of Ontario, Ontario Police Health & Safety Association) are working with the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board in an attempt to produce data against which individual police services can compare their own frequency and severity rates in a meaningful way.  In the interim, OPS will continue to reach out to other Ontario police services to try to gather information about intra-industry accident and injury rates.


Direct Costs


Direct WSIB costs associated with accidents and injuries are summarized in Table 5.   WSIB direct costs include things such as wages, health care costs, pensions, survivor benefits, non-economic loss costs; and administrative fees.  Costs for 2012 were $1,880,631.00.  These costs were approximately 13% higher than the costs for 2011.  As a Schedule 2 Employer, every dollar spent by the OPS on WSIB benefits is subject to an additional 27.6% administrative charge. 


Table 5: Direct WSIB Costs for 2010 – 2012.










A significant portion of costs are associated with permanent WSIB awards related to individuals who are away from work indefinitely due to workplace injuries.  These injuries occurred before the amalgamation of the Ottawa Police Service and some of those individuals will never return to work.  The OPS cannot affect those costs.  However, the OPS can reduce costs moving forward by taking measures to minimize the frequency and severity of new workplace injuries. 


Indirect Costs


Workplace injuries can cause many indirect costs, including:

-          Decreased worker productivity,

-          Loss of operational efficiency,

-          Decreased worker morale,

-          Diminished service performance, and

-          Increased administrative effort spent on early and safe return to work efforts.


It is difficult to quantitatively evaluate these indirect costs.  However, conventional estimates suggest that the ratio of indirect costs to direct costs may commonly range from 1:1 up to 5:1.  That means for every $1 spent on payment of direct costs, it would be reasonable to estimate that between $1 and $5 dollars is lost due to the types of indirect costs.  Using direct costs from 2012, associated indirect costs for the OPS are estimated to be between $1,000,000 and $5,000,000.  




The OPS should take all reasonable precautions to create and maintain healthy and safety workplaces.  This, in turn, will help minimize accident and injury rates.  As outlined by the Occupational Health and Safety Act and OPS Policy 3.06:  Health and Safety, everyone at the OPS has a role to play in the creation and maintenance of healthy and safe workplaces. 


The following table summarizes some specific initiatives that will be taken by the OPS in 2013 in an effort to help reduce accident and injury rates.


Table 6:  2013 Safety Initiatives.


Anticipated Outcome

Ergonomic assessments for individual workstations and specialized applications

Identification and mitigation of risk factors that can contribute to musculoskeletal injuries.

Increased focus on respiratory protection (distribution and fit testing of gas masks and N95s)

Better equipment to better protect members against exposure injuries.

Introduction of new Ford Interceptors by Fleet Services

Various safety features will help protect against transportation injuries.

Expanded use of new types of equipment (e.g. spit hoods, temporary restraint devices)

Help protect members against exposure and assault injuries.

Communication Centre Renewal Project

Ergonomically enhanced workstations to help reduce the risk of musculoskeletal injuries

Review of training procedures

Assessment of training activities to consider enhanced safety protocols.




There has been no formal consultation regarding the contents of this report.  The Occupational Health and Safety Act prescribes that reports of this nature must be shared with certain specific stakeholders.  Consequently, consultation with the Ottawa Police Joint Health & Safety Committee, the Ottawa Police Association, and the Senior Officers Association will be scheduled before the end of Q1, 2013.




Total direct costs from 2012 were as follows:


Budgetary Line Item

Amount Paid

501093 – WSIB Admin Charges


501094 – WSIB Permanent Awards


501194 – WSIB Payments





Payment of fees in full was mandatory on a monthly basis regulatory compliance reasons.  Non-compliance will result in fines imposed by the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board.  There are no options for choosing different levels of service for WSIB coverage.  A portion of costs are recurring and constant.  A portion of costs varies with WSIB usage rates.  




The Ottawa Police Services Board and the OPS should continue to work together to create and maintain healthy and safe workplaces for OPS members.  This will help to optimize member health and safety, and minimize the various costs associated with workplace accidents and injuries. 



(Original signed by)


Charles Bordeleau

Chief of Police



Responsible for report:  Director General Debra Frazer