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Safety Matters


Our blog discussing workplace safety opportunities in Nova Scotia and around the world.

WCB Rate Enhancements for 2013
The Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia recently announced a set of new rate enhancements for 2013. The evolution of Nova Scotia’s workplace insurance rates mean employers’ safety and return-to-work records will have a bigger impact on rates. The enhanced rate structure will be more responsive, encourage positive change, and ultimately help reduce the human and financial cost of workplace injury in the province.

WCB insurance rates are much like other insurance rates - those with positive experience pay less than those with poor experience. When employers take steps to provide a safe work environment, it not only keeps employees safe, it also reduces workplace insurance costs for employers.

Among the rate model improvements are changes that make rates more responsive to an individual employer’s efforts to implement and maintain safety and return-to-work improvements. There will also be a bigger impact on rates when a fatality occurs. You can find out more here.

“An employer’s cost for WCB insurance depends on two things – the cost of claims in their industry overall, and the cost of claims in their individual workplace,” says Stuart MacLean, CEO of the WCB. “Many employers are making valuable investments in safety within their workplaces, and we’re changing the rate setting model to more accurately reflect their efforts.”

For the ninth consecutive year, the average rate for 2013 is holding steady at $2.65 per $100 of assessable payroll.  Rates are decreasing by more than ten per cent in a number of industries including printing, ship building and boat building, used goods moving and storage and dairy farms. Bakeries, site work (excavating, paving and landscaping), stevedoring, general freight trucking and building material sales, are among the industries whose rates are increasing.

While there has been significant progress in injury reduction over the past several years, 27 workers in Nova Scotia lost their lives in the workplace last year, and there were 6,616 injuries serious enough for the worker to require time away from work.

There is still much work to be done to make Nova Scotia safer.

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