News from our Members

  • WCB Saskatchewan announces 2022 preliminary average premium rate October 13, 2021

    To help mitigate this increase in the 2022 preliminary average premium rate, the board will set the preliminary average premium rate at $1.23, which is below what the rate model is requiring at $1.25.

    “While this is a rate increase, the decisions we have made have allowed us to continue to have among the lowest premium rates in Canada,” said the WCB’s CEO Phillip Germain. “The two key drivers of the 2022 average premium rate are claim costs and payroll. The positive downward trend in claims experience over the past several years is flattening out and, in some cases, reversing. While the number of injury claims has gone down, inflation in claims-related costs, like health-care, are increasing faster than payroll. This has put upward pressure on our premium rates in 2021 and 2022.”

    Despite this year’s increase, Saskatchewan’s premium rates are likely to continue to remain among the lowest rates in Canada behind Manitoba and Alberta.

    In 2021, the average premium rate was held at $1.17, below the required $1.23, to help lift pressure on employers due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Not charging the required premium rate in 2021 and 2022 will save employers about $13.4 million in 2021 and $3.3 million in 2022. The 2022 preliminary average premium rate is the first increase to the average premium rate since 2004.

    While 90 per cent of employers achieved Mission: Zero in 2020, the WCB has been advising employers over the last couple of years that they could expect to see increases in the Saskatchewan premium rates if serious injuries, fatalities and durations did not improve. For the past several years, serious injuries accounted for approximately 12 per cent of total injuries, but more than 80 per cent of compensation costs. Learn more about WorkSafe’s Fatalities and Serious Injuries Strategy at www.worksafesask.ca/prevention/serious-injuries-and-fatalities/.

    “We recognize the difficult economic situation employers faced in 2020 and many are continuing to face in 2021 as we slowly begin to recover and adjust to the new pandemic norms,” said Germain. “Economic and investment market uncertainty, a consistent number of serious injuries and fatalities, and increasing health-care costs are putting this pressure on premium rates. However, recent positive economic announcements in agriculture, construction, government, and mining have signaled that 2022 is likely to be more positive than 2020 and 2021.”

    With the 2022 rate proposal:

    • The overall 2022 proposed average employer rate will be $1.23 per hundred dollars of payroll.
    • Actual industry premium rates for approximately 95 per cent of Saskatchewan’s employers covered by the WCB will increase next year.
    • Actual industry premium rates for approximately five per cent of Saskatchewan’s employers covered by the WCB will see a decrease or no change for 2022.

    Despite this increase in 2022, there are ways employers can influence their premium rates. Industry premium rates are affected by the degree to which employers in an industry are able to eliminate workplace injuries. In early 2021, the WCB launched its Business Transformation Program, which is focused on how the organization serves its customers and will transform every major aspect of the organization as it relates to the WCB’s people, processes and technology. Through the program, the WCB is working with customers, employers’ associations, labour organizations and safety associations to further reduce durations and serious injuries, as well as improve customer service. With a fully functioning safety program and a solid return-to-work program, employers can help prevent and manage work-related injuries.

    “With 90 per cent of employers achieving Mission: Zero in 2020, it’s evident that Saskatchewan workers and employers are focusing their attention on safety efforts and creating safer workplaces in the province,” said the WCB’s chair Gord Dobrowolsky. “But we know there is still more work to be done to eliminate fatalities, injuries and suffering. As the economy continues to ramp up, let’s all focus on getting this work done on time, on budget and without injuries.”

    Source: WCB Saskatchewan

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  • WCB Nova Scotia shifts to long-term remote workforce model (Oct. 7/21) October 7, 2021

    After more than a year and a half of working in a mix of at-home and on-site scenarios, WCB Nova Scotia will be moving to a hybrid working model for the longer term.

    When the pandemic forced closure of all public buildings in early 2020, WCB Nova Scotia employees, enabled by technology, quickly and seamlessly moved to deliver service remotely.

    In the time since then, WCB has been able to continue delivering service to workers and employers across the province, working with them to reduce the impact of workplace injury. Our most recent employer and worker satisfaction surveys continue to exceed our targets and have held steady over the past 19 months.

    “As an organization, we’ve learned that we don’t need to be in a bricks-and-mortar environment every day to make the incredible difference we do to decrease the impact of workplace injury in our province,” says Stuart MacLean, CEO.

    “When we made the shift to work remotely in March 2020, we made it a priority to continue to deliver excellent service to those we serve, and our balanced scorecard shows that stakeholders agree,” said MacLean. “In addition, more and more, prospective employees expect flexible working arrangements from their employers. We’re excited to move into the next phase of what that means for WCB Nova Scotia, with the safety of our employees and those we serve as our top priority.”

    During transition to the new service model, all in-person services remain suspended, except for Permanent Medical Impairment assessments, which are by appointment only.

    However, while our buildings are not open to the general public, we continue to provide services remotely. Online services are available 24/7 at WCB Online for workers and MyAccount for employers. You can contact us online anytime via Secure Message, or you can call us at 1-800-870-3331 during regular business hours.

    Source: WCB Nova Scotia

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  • WSIB reduces average premium rate by 5.1% in 2022 October 6, 2021

    The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) announced today during its Annual General Meeting (AGM), that the average premium rate for Ontario businesses will be reduced by 5.1% for 2022, from $1.37 to $1.30. The announcement comes after the WSIB held 2021 premium rates at the same level as the previous year, in an effort to support businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic.

    “Our strong financial performance allows us to ease the pressure on Ontario businesses during these difficult times while continuing to help people recover and return to work,” said Elizabeth Witmer, Chair of the WSIB. “This is the fifth time in the last six years we have been able to reduce the average premium rate, confirming Ontario as a jurisdiction with among the most generous benefits in North America at a competitive cost.”

    Additional enhancements to the WSIB’s online services were also announced at the AGM. Starting in 2022, businesses will be able to log in to view detailed claim information in real time, a service that was first started for people with claims in 2020.

    “We are transforming the way we do business so that doing business with us is easier,” said Tom Bell, President and CEO of the WSIB (A). “Enhancements to our online services continue to make it simpler for people to file or track a claim, for businesses to manage their accounts, or for health care providers to register, bill and get paid – freeing up their time and ours to focus on service.”

    Ontario businesses can expect to receive their 2022 premium rate statements later this month. The statements will also show the future direction of their premium rates as the WSIB continues the transition to a new rate-setting model that more closely ties premium rates to individual health and safety records.

    For further information, please contact:
    media@wsib.on.ca

    Source: WSIB

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  • WCB Nova Scotia achieves financial milestone, ending 2020 in funded position (Oct. 6/21) October 6, 2021

    After years of working from a place of financial imbalance, Nova Scotia’s workers’ compensation system is approaching financial sustainability as WCB Nova Scotia ended 2020 in a long-awaited improved financial position.

    After decades of being underfunded – meaning more benefits were owed to workers and their families into the future than the value of the assets available – the WCB marked the end of 2020 with a funded ratio of 102.9 per cent.

    WCB Nova Scotia announced the news today at the Workplace Safety and Insurance System Annual General Meeting, and released its 2020 Annual Report.

    The report also recaps operational highlights, including the challenge of creating healthy, safe returns to the workplace following injury, and tells the story of workplace fatalities which reached a tragic high last year of 32. WCB’s injury and fatality statistics were released earlier this year.

    “While this is a major milestone, and our new reality is certainly one of optimism, this is a time for balanced, strategic approaches with a long-term view,” says CEO Stuart MacLean. “We must work toward a workplace safety and insurance system with the right funding parameters in place, so such an imbalance never happens again.”

    Underlining how quickly things can change, MacLean notes that since the end of 2020, the funded ratio has already declined slightly. First quarter 2021 results, also released today, indicate a funded percentage of 101.3 per cent.

    Like WCBs across the country, WCB Nova Scotia has a responsibility to maintain sustainability not only for today, but into the future. In many of those jurisdictions, target funded percentages exceed 100 per cent.

    “We have to go forward with careful, considered financial management. We know things can quickly change, and that’s why our focus is on the long term,” says MacLean.

    WCB Nova Scotia must now define what it is to be “fully funded,” and will begin conversations with key stakeholders to define what funding range parameters make sense to ensure Nova Scotia has a sustainable workers’ compensation system.

    A range, setting upper and lower thresholds where action to reduce rates or improve benefits, is in the best interest of stakeholders. This would also indicate when may not be the right time to take action.

    “Achieving this milestone is not unlike the day you pay off the mortgage on your home – finally, you can consider long awaited home improvement,” says MacLean. “With a better funded system, we must carefully plan our financial house for the future, building a secure foundation, and a solid structure. These decisions are important not only for employers and workers today, but for generations in the future.”

     

    Related links:

    2020 Annual Report
    Q1 2021 Community Report
    2021-2023 Strategic Priorities
    2020 Statistical Summary

    Source: WCB Nova Scotia 

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  • WCB PEI: Two PEI Youths Recognized for Excellence in Workplace Safety September 28, 2021

    The Workers Compensation Board (WCB) is pleased to announce that Elliot Fraser and Martina Ellis are the recipients of this year’s Safe Youth Award. The award, along with the $500 prize is presented annually to Prince Edward Island youth who demonstrate an understanding of occupational health and safety (OHS) principles, and take the initiative to apply them in their workplaces.

    “By rewarding young people today for working safely, we are striving toward safer workplaces for tomorrow,” said Jim MacPhee, Chair of the Workers Compensation Board. “Seeing safety values being not only embraced but promoted in the next generation of workers is truly noteworthy.”

    Elliot Fraser secured the Safe Youth Award in the age 15-19 category and is being recognized in his role as a summer student with Environmental Industrial Services Inc. Elliot’s supervisor attributed the key to his success as “his ability to quickly learn and follow the many safety protocols, his ability to apply previously learned knowledge and experience to his workplace, and commitment to asking questions continually in order to acquire new understanding of hazards and hazard control.”

    Martina Ellis, the recipient in the age 20-24 category, is an Occupational Therapy/Physiotherapy Assistant with Health PEI.  Martina demonstrates her OHS understanding and initiative  as an active member of the OHS Committee, trains employees on TLR (transfers, lifts, and repositioning), has taken “train-the trainer” courses, and regularly holds education sessions for staff at her workplace.  Martina made specific mention of the challenge often faced by employees in long-term care, which is to remember to take care of their own health; she pointed out the importance of refresher training to remind employees of their right to proper training and support in their work.

    “There are unique safety challenges across industries and our youth safety champions provide excellent examples of the many ways people can contribute to their workplaces,” said Cheryl Paynter, CEO of the Workers Compensation Board. “We’re so pleased to recognize these youth who continue to promote health and safety in workplaces across the Island.”

    For more information about educating young workers about workplace safety, visit the Workers Compensation Board website at http://www.wcb.pe.ca/Workplace/YoungWorkers or contact the WCB office at 902‐368‐5680 or 1‐800‐237‐5049.

     

    Media Contact: Laura Steeves,

    WCB Senior Communications Coordinator

    lsteeves@wcb.pe.ca

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  • WCB PEI – Employer Survey Underway September 24, 2021

    The Workers Compensation Board’s biennial Employer Survey is now underway.

    The telephone survey is being conducted by an independent research firm, Narrative Research, who will ask our clients about their satisfaction with our programs and services. Participation is entirely voluntary and confidential.

    The survey is one way the WCB gathers feedback from our stakeholders, so that we can continue to improve how we serve Island workers and employers. For the results of previous surveys, please visit the Stakeholder Surveys section of the WCB website.

    For questions on this survey contact: Jenny White, Information Specialist, jrwhite@wcb.pe.ca or 902-368-6368.

    Media Contact:
    Laura Steeves, Senior Communications Coordinator
    902-894-0362 or news@wcb.pe.ca
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  • WorkPlaceNL: Soft-tissue injuries account for the majority of all workplace lost-time injury claims in the workplace September 21, 2021

    Over the past five years, musculoskeletal injuries (MSIs), or soft-tissue injuries, have accounted for 68 per cent of WorkplaceNL lost-time injury claims and $96 million in annual claim cost. MSIs such as sprains, strains, and inflammation may be caused or aggravated by work, but can be prevented.

    September 19-25 is Move Well – Work Well Week; an annual event aimed at raising awareness of these injuries and finding practical solutions for preventing them.

    “Soft-tissue injuries can significantly impact our work lives and many other daily activities,” said the Honourable Bernard Davis, Minister Responsible for WorkplaceNL. “Move Well – Work Well Week is an excellent opportunity to raise awareness and to educate ourselves on the importance of taking steps to prevent injuries, at work and in everything we do.”

    “MSIs can impact every aspect of a worker’s daily life,” said Dennis Hogan, CEO, WorkplaceNL. “Move Well – Work Well Week highlights the importance of moving instead of being sedentary, and practicing good body mechanics, so that you can stay healthy, productive and comfortable at work and at home.”

    On average, MSIs in Newfoundland and Labrador account for:

    • 68 per cent of all claims involving lost time from work
    • 71 per cent of all costs related to lost-time claims
    • 76 per cent of all lost-time weeks from work
    • $96 M annual claims costs

    WorkplaceNL is encouraging organizations across the province to participate in Move Well – Work Well Week. For ideas and resources, visit workplacenl.ca.

    Related Documents

    Move Well – Work Well resources for workplaces

    Musculoskeletal Injury resources

    About WorkplaceNL

    Serving approximately 215,000 workers and 18,000 employers, WorkplaceNL administers an employer-funded, no-fault workers’ compensation system that promotes safe and healthy workplaces, provides return-to-work programs and offers compensation to injured workers and their dependents.

    Media contacts:

    Carla Riggs, WorkplaceNL

    709.778.1590 or carla.riggs@workplacenl.ca

    Source: WorkPlaceNL

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  • Assessment rates announced at YWCHSB annual information meeting reflect Yukon’s performance in workplace safety September 15, 2021

    Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board (YWCHSB) held its annual information meeting today. The Board discussed operational highlights and the financial performance from the previous year, as outlined in the 2020 Annual Report. The report was released in May of this year.

    The Board also announced industry classifications and assessment rates for 2022. The rates are reflective of safety and return to work efforts within Yukon’s workplaces, along with the strong funded position at the end of 2020, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Resources & Transportation Low will see the largest decrease next year, going down 4.7 per cent, from $2.78 to $2.65. Services High will experience the second largest rate decrease, going down 4.6 per cent, from $2.60 to $2.48. The Government rate group, which includes the Government of Yukon as well as First Nations and municipal governments, will rise 6.3 per cent from $1.76 to $1.87.

    YWCHSB’s Board of Directors is pleased that the adjustments in rates for 2022 are moderate while permitting the organization to continue delivering on its commitment to reduce the funded position so that it accurately represents the cost of operating the system.

    The funded position decreased from 141 per cent in 2019 to 132 per cent in 2020. Now, as the funding position approaches target levels, rates are moving towards actual costs of the compensation and occupational health and safety systems.

    Policy requires that YWCHSB maintain a funded position between 121 and 129 per cent of total liabilities. This is to provide rate stability, protect the Compensation Fund from unforeseen catastrophic events and provide benefits to workers both now and well into the future.

    COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of maintaining a strong funded position. Maintaining this position means the Board of Directors is able to set rates that are stable and reduce volatility in these uncertain times, providing some relief to Yukon employers when they need it most.

    Visit our website for more information on the 2022 assessment rates and industry classifications.

    Quotes

    “The Board of Directors is pleased to announce next year’s assessment rates. We are pleased that the Yukon’s excellent safety and return to work culture has contributed to a moderate decrease for some and a moderate increase for other rate groups. The bottom line is, as employers and workers collaborate on improving workplace health and safety and return to work outcomes, those efforts will be reflected in assessment rates.”

    -Board of Directors Chair, Mark Pike

    “While assessment rates can generally be viewed as a financial aspect of our system, the true measure of our success lies elsewhere. It’s in people, not money. We all have work to do to reach our goal of zero workplace injuries. We must remind ourselves that together we can always do more to keep each other safe at work.”

    -President/CEO, Kurt Dieckmann

    2022 rates

    Resources and Transportation Low
    2022 rate: $2.65
    2021 rate: $2.78
    Change: -4.7%

    Resources and Transportation Medium
    2022 rate: $4.71
    2021 rate: $4.66
    Change: 1.1%

    Resources and Transportation High
    2022 rate: $7.24
    2021 rate: $7.57
    Change: -4.4%

    Construction Medium
    2022 rate: $3.25
    2021 rate: $3.2
    Change: 1.6%

    Construction High
    2022 rate: $4.92
    2021 rate: $5.04
    Change: -2.4%

    Services Low
    2022 rate: $0.76
    2021 rate: $0.73
    Change: 4.1%

    Services Medium
    2022 rate: $1.72
    2021 rate: $1.67
    Change: 3.0%

    Services High
    2022 rate: $2.48
    2021 rate: $2.60
    Change: -4.6%

    Government
    2022 rate: $1.87
    2021 rate: $1.76
    Change: 6.3%
    Contact

    Heather Avery

    Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board
    Phone: 867-332-4794
    Email: heather.avery@wcb.yk.ca

     

    Source: Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board (YWCHSB)

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  • WorkSafeNB releases 2022 assessment rates August 12, 2021

    Fewer workplace accidents, better rehabilitation and return-to-work outcomes, and an improved financial position have resulted in a significantly reduced assessment rate for 2022, WorkSafeNB announced today at its Annual General Meeting.

    WorkSafeNB set its 2022 provisional average assessment rate at $1.69 per $100 of assessable payroll, a 22% reduction from the 2021 rate of $2.17. The 2022 assessment rate is based on the 2020 year-end audited financial statements, a year in which the COVID-19 virus swept in and dramatically changed how we live and interact with others.

    “Never has the health and safety of families, friends, co-workers and customers been more front and centre in our everyday lives than it was in 2020,” said Doug Jones, WorkSafeNB’s President and CEO. “The attention and dedication to healthy and safe workplaces by our province’s workers, employers, unions, and the government has continued a 10-year trend of improving the lost-time injury frequency in New Brunswick. Improved workplace safety results, combined with better return-to-work outcomes for injured workers, and a strong financial position has allowed WorkSafeNB to announce a reduced provincial assessment rate that is now comparable to the Canadian average assessment rate.”

    The 2020 net income of $252 million builds on the 2019 net income of $312 million, representing a stark turnaround from the losses of $271 million and $134 million incurred in 2018 and 2017, respectively.  Similarly, WorkSafeNB’s funded position, the ratio of assets required to fund future liabilities, was 124% at the end of 2020, a remarkable improvement from the 85% and 105% reported at year ends 2018 and 2019, respectively.  The solid financial results eliminated the unfunded liability and the need for a surcharge on the assessment rate.

    The components of the 2022 rate and the change compared to 2021 are outlined below.

      2021 2022 Reduction
    Projected future cost of new injuries $1.33 $1.20 ($0.13) 9.8%
    General Administration, Occupational Health & Safety and Workers’ Compensation Appeals Tribunal costs $0.49 $0.49 —-
    Surcharge to pay for unfunded liability when funding level is below 115% $0.35 $0.00 ($0.35) 100%
    Average Assessment Rate $2.17 $1.69 ($0.48) 22.1%

     

    The improved financial position has also been due, in large part, to legislative changes passed by the government in 2018 and 2019.  These changes returned exclusive jurisdiction over the workers’ compensation system to the WorkSafeNB Board of Directors.  They also clarified that workers’ compensation benefits are to be provided only for injuries incurred in the course of employment. As a result, WorkSafeNB was able to take action to revise policies and manage operations so that financial liabilities at year-end 2020 have been reduced by $195 million compared to 2018.

    “A further reduction in WorkSafeNB Assessment rates is great news and is the result of the excellent work by WorkSafeNB’s Board of Directors, and the quick action of our government,” said Trevor Holder, Minister of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour. “One of the first things we did when we formed government was to update various legislation based on recommendations from the board, which included returning exclusive jurisdiction of worker’s compensation system to the WorkSafeNB Board of Directors. We are pleased that this work has contributed to assessment rates that are more equitable to both employers and employees.”

    WorkSafeNB’s return to solid financial footing benefits all stakeholders.

    “Our return to a strong financial position is good news for all New Brunswickers,” said Haley Flaro, Acting Chairperson of WorkSafeNB’s Board of Directors. “We are pleased to be in a position to consider reasonable improvements to the suite of benefits for injured workers while also reducing costs for businesses that benefit the overall provincial economy.”

    Individual assessment rate notices will be available online at MyServices in October.

    WorkSafeNB also announced a reduction in the 2022 assessments paid by municipalities, rural communities, and local service districts to fund the Firefighters’ Compensation Act’s disability fund. Annual assessment rates for 2022 will decrease by 5.6% to $425 for each of the more than 4,000 firefighters in the province, compared to the $450 annual assessment rate charged in 2021.

    For more information on how we calculate rates, watch our short video.

    For more information on WorkSafeNB’s 2020 annual results, including safety measures, return-to-work outcomes, improvements to client services, and detailed financial reporting, please read our 2020 Annual Report.

    Media contact:

    Laragh Dooley
    Executive Director, Corporate Communications
    media@ws-ts.nb.ca

    Source: WorkSafeNB

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  • WorkSafeBC: Inspection reports now available online July 29, 2021

    WorkSafeBC inspections are an important part of ensuring health and safety in B.C. workplaces. During an inspection, a prevention officer will inspect your workplace and assess safe work practices in accordance with the Workers Compensation Act and the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Regulation.

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