Officials in Nova Scotia unveiled some good news recently regarding workers compensation rates in the Canadian province.
Demonstrating leadership in workplace safety and return to work programs can reduce the impact of workplace injury as well as the costs of workplace injury insurance, reported the Workers Compensation Board as part of its 2015 employer rate announcement.
The Workers Compensation Board notified 18,500 covered employers of their 2015 rates for workplace injury insurance. An industry’s rate is set based on claims cost experience – the ratio of injury costs to payroll. Just like other insurance models, employers with higher claims costs in their industry pay a higher rate.
That means the best way to reduce workers comp premiums comes through industry and employer leadership.
This starts with a focused and dedicated approach to safety leadership at all levels of business.
Individual employers can take steps to prevent injuries in the workplace, and, if an injury does occur, support injured workers to return to work. Similarly, when an industry works together to reduce its claims cost experience, and brings down the relative percentage of costs to the system, that industry will see a reduction.
Health Care Sector Benefits from Safety Commitment
Nova Scotia’s health care sector, for instance, which includes hospitals, specialty care homes and long term care facilities, is an example of an industry whose rate is benefiting from leadership commitments to safety and return to work programs.
According to the WCB, the average rate of assessment for the health care sector has declined by almost 15 per cent over the last five years. If the industry didn’t make improvements, it would be paying roughly $8.6 million more in premiums today.
New programs introduced by the WCB have also challenged more employers to step up their safety leadership, and have driven more improvements in workplace safety this year.
Rebates and refunds were issued for the first time in 2014 as a result of the practice incentive rebate program and the conditional surcharge refund program. To date, just over $2.43 million have been issued through these programs.
Each year, the WCB issues surcharges to employers whose claims costs are significantly and consistently higher than their industry peers. In 2015, 107 employers will receive a surcharge, down slightly from 113 in 2014.
To be surcharged, an employer’s claims cost experience must be at least three times their industry average, or at least 200 per cent higher, for at least four consecutive years.
Author Kori Shafer-Stack, Editor, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in post-injury response procedures and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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