The Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba’s (Canada) 2015 Annual Report was tabled in the provincial legislature recently.
The highlights include a surplus of $95 million, implementing a fairer and balanced assessment rate model and enhancing customer services for injured workers. The WCB also released its 2016 – 2020 Five Year Plan.
“Strong financial stewardship and investments in prevention and return to work efforts by the WCB, its partners and the workers and employers of Manitoba have allowed us to decrease the average assessment rate for 2016 by five cents to $1.25 per $100 of assessable payroll,” said Winston Maharaj, WCB President and CEO. “The time loss injury rate is moving downwards as well to stand at 3.0* per 100 workers.”
“We are transforming our organization to more readily meet the changing demands of our customers,” added Maharaj. “Our strong financial foundation and systems are allowing us to decrease rate volatility and provide more collective liability protection through the introduction of a new assessment rate model.”
In 2015, the WCB also introduced new best practices to ensure consistency in providing services to severely injured workers. As well, the WCB established a telephone claims service center that helps answer the majority of injured workers questions and approves some medical expenses.
These improvements, and others, are focused on providing injured workers with compassionate care while also encouraging safe and timely return to work.
The WCB also introduced a new team that helps employers develop or strengthen their return to work programs. Effective return-to-work programs minimize the duration of an injury, promote recovery and benefit both workers and employers.
The WCB also made further inroads in implementing Manitoba’s Five-Year Plan for Workplace Injury and Illness Prevention through SAFE Work Manitoba. New industry-based safety programs were established and work began on a new province-wide safety certification program. The annual report includes SAFE Work Manitoba financials that show the WCB’s investment in prevention.
* Estimated, to be confirmed in mid-2016.
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: email@example.com.
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