For the twelth consecutive year, the Saskatchewan Workers Compensation Board has reduced the average premium rate.
This year employers in the province will save 1.7 per cent.
Peter Federko, the CEO of the WCB, said the reduction is a product of a couple things but mainly fewer workplace injuries and lower claims cost which is a result of education and training.
“I think it’s the concerted efforts of workers and employers in this province supported by WorkSafe that’s actually resulted in the dramatic decrease that we’re seeing in the number of injuries and injury rates,” said Federko.
Federko added it’s not the time to let complacency set in.
“We’re facing a record number of fatalities in 2018 and so we’re certainly being cautiously optimistic that we can get this back on track.”
The WCB also announced that changes are being finalized to the enhanced rate model in 2019.
Federko said the model focuses more on individual businesses and how their own safety records and practices dictate what they pay.
“Employers who improve their injury experience and are better relative to their industry can get a discount of up to 30 per cent, those who have bad injury experience can get a surcharge up to 200 per cent.” Federko explained why certain sectors are seeing their rates increase. “Codes that are going up are a reflection of worsening injury results or claim results within their industry code.”
This year 42.5 per cent of Saskatchewan employers will see a decrease in their industry premium rates. A few sectors that will see a decrease of 0.6 -14 per cent include: bussing and trucking, railways, telecommunications, auto service shops, Government of Saskatchewan, and Corrections Services.
Increases will affect 54.5 per cent of Saskatchewan businesses. A few sectors that will see a jump of 1-17 per cent are: restaurants, department stores, residential construction, open pit mining, the Health Authority and farming and ranching.
The changes are being met with understanding from industry groups.
President of the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan, Todd Lewis, was in favor of the rate model changes.
“I guess the only way to ensure that you improve your work place safety is a fine system like this. If you do have a lot of problems, recognize it and get some training in place for your employees and do a better job in ensuring everybody is safe,” said Lewis.
Lewis hopes the message is heard by all industries. “I think we all have to do a better job of ensuring that we have good safe workplaces and good safe work practices.”
To find out more information on how to improve work place safety visit www.worksafesask.ca
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