The NHLPA released its annual report Tuesday, highlighting the league’s progress in bringing its concussion policy into the 21st century.
The report is based on an annual survey conducted by a survey of more than 3,000 union members and employees and includes the latest data on concussion and concussions.
The league says it has implemented a series of key reforms in the past year, including: Making it easier for workers to get a copy of their own concussion data, Increasing the number of concussions to 2,400 per year from 1,600 in 2018.
Adding a new “Safe Haven” program to allow employees to request a copy and take steps to avoid the risk of returning to the field.
Giving employees the ability to make requests to get their records reviewed by their employer.
Requiring players to wear protective gear and training to help them avoid further concussions, as well as providing better equipment for the players and coaches.
Implementing the NHL Players’ Health Initiative to reduce the risk for head injuries.
Providing a concussion-prevention education and education to all players and coaching staffs.
The league’s report also points to a decline in concussions among players, with nearly half of those who had one in 2017 reporting no symptoms.
While the rate of concussive incidents among players is declining, there are more than 4,000 players currently suspended for conduct detrimental to the team, the report notes.
The NHLPA says the concussion policy has been implemented in more than 60 states and provinces.
It is a “significant improvement” over the last five years and is an important step toward ending concussions worldwide, the union said in a release.
While there are still some questions surrounding the policy and its implementation, the league says the results show that it is working.
“It is an incredibly important step forward in the history of the NHL,” said NHLPA Executive Director Dan Rooney.
“We are now committed to implementing this policy in a way that is fair to all the players, our families, our clubs and the league as a whole.
We have taken significant steps to make sure that it works for our players and for all of us, and we’re on track to achieve this goal.”
The report also said the league has taken steps to improve the way it analyzes data and the way that it analytically evaluates and classifies concussion claims.
“The NHL has committed to a process that includes the participation of all parties, including its players, coaches and trainers, to ensure that the information it collects about concussions is accurate and reliable,” Rooney said.
“As part of that process, we have increased our team’s research and development effort, and continue to invest in research into how we can best help our players protect themselves against concussions.”
The NHL also said it has increased the number and quality of its concussion information resources and has hired a new director of research and public policy.