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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WCB Announces 2013 Rates and Improvements to Rate Model

---Average rate holding steady for ninth consecutive year---

September 4, 2012 – Halifax, NSImprovements to the workplace insurance rate model mean employers’ safety and return-to-work records will have a bigger impact on rates, the Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia (WCB) announced today.

The Board released its 2013 insurance rates and is introducing changes to make rates more responsive, to encourage positive change, and to ultimately reduce the human and financial cost of workplace injury in the province.

“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,” said 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.”

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.

The WCB will continue its practice of offering financial incentives to encourage safety improvements. Each year the WCB issues surcharges to employers whose claims costs are significantly and consistently higher than their industry peers. In 2013, 90 employers will receive a surcharge, down from 96 in 2012. Surcharged employers have claims costs that are at least three times their industry average for at least four consecutive years. Surcharges are cumulative and can add an additional 20 per cent or more to a firm’s base rate each year.  Employers can qualify for surcharge rebates if they make safety investments.

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, shipbuilding and boatbuilding, 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. For details about how the WCB is working with employers to prevent injuries, as well as information about how WCB rates are set and the list of employers who will be surcharged in 2013, please visit www.wcb.ns.ca.

About the WCB
The Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia (WCB) is committed to keeping Nova Scotians safe and secure from workplace injury. The WCB provides workplace injury insurance for more than 18,000 employers, representing about 300,000 workers across the province. The WCB sets the standard for workplace injury insurance by informing and inspiring Nova Scotians in the prevention of workplace injury. If an injury occurs, we support those whose lives it touches by championing a timely return to safe and healthy work.

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Background: Surcharged Employers in 2013

For more information, please contact:

Julie Trites
Communications Advisor
902.491-8110
902.220.0687
Julie.trites@wcb.gov.ns.ca