New Zealand Improves Return to Work Ratio for Injured Workers

New Zealand’s Accident Compensation Corporation continued to improve its performance rehabilitating injured New Zealanders this past financial year according to a recent report.
The report says four key rehabilitation indicators improved during the year. They are: people no longer dependent on ACC after 70 days: – 71 percent, up from 67 percent  two years ago; people no longer dependent on ACC after 273 days: 93 percent, up from 91 percent two years ago; number of people on ACC long term: about 12,000, down from 14,500 two years ago; proportion of people going on to require time off work after an injury: 3.25 percent, down from 4.1 percent two years ago. (WCxKit)
Getting people back to their normal lives, as far as possible and as soon as possible is ACC’s core role. So these results are very pleasing,” said ACC Chairman John Judge. “Additionally, this improved performance has led to a further reduction in ACC’s net deficit, making the scheme more sustainable into the future.”
Preliminary financial results for the 2010-11 year show a forecast net surplus of about $2.5 billion. That means the corporation’s net deficit will fall from last year’s $10.3 billion to about $7.8 billion.
The $2.5 billion surplus is calculated by figuring improved performance of the insurance business, improved investment performance, economic, and miscellaneous  factors. Overall, ACC's scheme solvency has improved to 72% from just 46% two years ago. These results are due to a range of factors, most notably improved rehabilitation of injured clients and improved investment returns. It has also reportedly been important that ACC has stuck more closely to its legislation than was perhaps the case in the past.
ACC received over 1.6 million new claims this year. By helping these people get back to work or gain independence faster we’ve not only improved their lives but also lowered our own claim costs and stopped the growth in our future liabilities that was so severe for so many years,” Judge said. (WCxKit)
This is a great result, due in no small part of the efforts of ACC staff, but there is still a long way to go. The remaining deficit of $7 billion is still a major issue and now is not the time to rest on our laurels. These positive trends could easily reverse,” Judge added.

 Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. See for more information. Contact:
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact

Alberta Employment and Immigration Posting Employer Performance Information

 Alberta Employment and Immigration (AE&I) is now posting annual performance information about Alberta employers. (WCxKit)
The first report includes data from 2005 to 2009, and includes occupational fatality numbers, the lost-time claim numbers, and lost-time claim rates for employers in Alberta who are required to have a WCB-Alberta account.
A lost-time claim rate can serve as an indicator of a company’s safety performance but it is not a conclusive measure by itself.
WCB-Alberta provides AE&I with data collected as part of its administration of the Workers Compensation Act.
For the purposes of the new employer performance reports, WCB-Alberta provides the following data as of March 31 for each year:
  1. Industry codes
  2. Number of claims accepted
  3. Number of fatality claims
  4. Insurable earnings for the year (payroll)
This is point-in-time information. If changes are made to claims status, industry codes, or insurable earnings after March 31, the data in WCB-Alberta’s records may differ from the published reports.
The workers comp system is a no-fault mutual insurance system, so the data collected does not attribute fault.
The number of lost-time claims shown on the current report has been accepted by WCB-Alberta as of March 31, 2010. Claims can be registered by an employer, an injured worker, or a health care provider within two years of the incident, so these numbers may change slightly over time.
WCB-Alberta regularly audits employers to ensure they are reporting claims properly. Insurable earnings figures can change if employers modify the figures they have reported to WCB-Alberta, or if WCB-Alberta conducts an audit. Industry codes may also change as a result of employers changing their operations.
The number of fatalities shown on the report has been accepted by WCB-Alberta as of March 31 of each year. The fatalities are shown in the year they were accepted, not by the year that they occurred.
AE&I uses WCB-Alberta data to calculate the person-years estimate and lost-time claim rates for employers.
AE&I and WCB-Alberta have different business reporting requirements, so the statistics released by AE&I and by WCB-Alberta are not expected to be identical.
For questions about the five-year employer lost-time claims and fatality reports, employers should contact AE&I at 1-866-415-8690.
AE&I can supply details about this information, including claims, what the insurable earnings figures are and how the person years were determined. (WCxKit)
WCB-Alberta will help explain the published data by answering questions about industry codes, lost-time claims, insurable earnings, and fatality numbers.
An employer can get up-to-date performance information from WCB-Alberta by accessing the Loss Control Reporting (LCR) online service through WCB-Alberta’s Web site at:
SUBSCRIBE TO:    Workers Comp Resource Center Newsletter

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
©2010 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact

4 Reasons to Use Data in Workers Comp Cost Reduction Efforts

Used effectively, data may be helpful in increasing visibility and gaining commitment particularly when integrated with safety data because the two are closely correlated. In order to properly manage a business process, you must be able to MEASURE it! Doing a calculation is easy, just enter data here.

Senior Management may not be familiar with the types of data available or which data will most closely meet their needs. Actually, senior management may not even know that workers’ comp is a controllable cost if they see workers’ comp costs only during annual budget meetings.

Tip: As soon as cost reductions are visible, show the data to senior management to gain added management commitment and resources.

Hint: As you define and track relevant data, make sure senior management is aware of the results. They may have been initially hesitant to spend money but data can help convince even the most resistant executive. Management should receive workers’ compensation data frequently – usually monthly – broken down by department or division.

This should be done for several reasons:

1. Data allows management to see workers’ compensation as an expenditure rather than an annual budget item.
2. Data can demonstrate variation between divisions and help promote healthy competition. If management sees the WC Losses at Unit #1 are $20/per employee while at Unit #2 they are $400/per employee, they will soon ask what Unit #1 is doing that Unit #2 is not.
3. This helps allow senior management to provide feedback to operations management especially if they have not gotten on board with the program.
4. Data can demonstrate that it is possible to TAKE CONTROL of workers’ compensation costs and effectively manage them.

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws are different. Consult with your corporate legal counsel before implementing any cost containment programs. ©2008 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact

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