WorkSafeNB aims to lower rates for automate claims and employers

WorkSafeNB hosted almost 200 shareholders at their annual general meeting on Wednesday.

The organization is a corporate entity committed to promoting healthy and safe workplaces for New Brunswick’s workers and employers.

“While our priority is preventing workplace injuries and occupational disease, we provide comprehensive rehabilitation services and fair compensation benefits when these do occur,” WrokSafeNB stated on its website.

WorkSafeNB has 15,000 registered employers, 320,000 workers and an average of 5,900 claims per year resulting in workers missing time from work due to injury.

CEO and President Douglas Jones who joined the organization in March 2018 reviewed WorkSafe NB’s 2018 year end results, legislative changes and trends impacting the 2020 assessment rate.

Jones said there is opportunity to make improvements to health and safety, and lower premium rates while adhering to the auditor general’s report, which suggested changes to claim management and reducing return to work timelines.

In April, Auditor General Kim MacPherson released an unfavorable report that highlighted key issues with Worksafe NB, such as improving the strategic plan.

WorkSafe NB’s new strategic plan has four key pillars: safety first culture, effective recovery, system sustainability and superior service.

Rates are at an all-time high and premiums cover wage loss, medical care and administrative costs.

After legislation changes in 2015, end year cost and future liability increased dramatically which drove the rates up. In addition to that a dodgy stock market in December 2018 contributed to rates reaching $2.65.

“At the end of the year we were down about 200 million dollars, we’ve actually seen a substantial improvement in the first six months of the year partly because of the increase to rates that we are charging employers, and also we’ve made about a hundred million dollars in our investment fund, from January to June just because of the stock market returns,” said Jones.

Going forward WorkSafe NB would like to see accident and death rates decline, and implement software to automate claim management.

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