WCB Nova Scotia releases 2018 assessment rates (Sept 5/17)

Long-term care and home care employers to pay more; farming and fishing employers to pay less for workplace injury insurance

HALIFAX, NS – WCB Nova Scotia has announced the employer assessment rates that the 18,800 workplaces it covers will pay in 2018. 

At $2.65 per $100 of payroll, the average rate remains unchanged, but as always, rates are changing for many employers. Fifty-nine per cent of Nova Scotia employers will pay the same or less than they did last year, while 41 per cent will see an increase. 

Rates are increasing in the long-term care and home care sectors. In the past two years, WCB rates in home care have increased 25 per cent, while rates in long-term care increased 13 per cent. 

With an injury rate of 9.13 time-loss injuries per 100 covered workers, Nova Scotians are more likely to be hurt caring for others in their homes than in any other line of work. Most of the injuries are sustained lifting and moving people during care.

“The human and financial cost of workplace injury in long-term care and home care is concerning,” says WCB Nova Scotia CEO Stuart MacLean. “Too many Nova Scotians are hurt caring for others. We all need to do more to keep health care workers safe.”  

Overall, employers with the worst safety records – 112 in 2018 - will face a surcharge of at least 20 per cent over and above their normal assessment rate.

“Our rate model in Nova Scotia is structured so that industries with high claim costs pay more, and industries with low claim costs pay less,” says MacLean. 

Farming, commercial construction and fishing are among the industries that will pay less next year. Along with long-term care and home care, sawmills, textile manufacturers and residential construction firms are among the industries that will pay more.

MacLean says the best way to reduce claim costs is by making workplaces safer, and helping workers who are injured make a healthy, safe and timely return to the workplace. “We need to work together to keep workers safe and on the job. Everyone has a responsibility to step up, take action, and be a safety leader.”

For more information about 2018 WCB employer assessment rates and how they’re calculated, visit wcb.ns.ca/rates. The 2018 list of surcharged employers can be found here. For more information on efforts to develop an action plan to improve safety in long-term and home care, visit: awarens.ca/actionplan.

Numbers at a glance:

• 2018 Average rate: $2.65 per $100 of assessable payroll
• Number of covered employers: 18,800
• Employers with the same rate or a rate decrease: 59%
• Employers with a rate increase: 41%
• Number of surcharged employers: 112
• Percentage of covered employers that are surcharged: 0.57% 
• Time-loss claims registered in 2016: 5,847
• Injury rate (time loss injuries per 100 covered workers): 1.74
• Acute fatalities in 2016: 2
• Chronic fatalities (occupational disease or health conditions) in 2016: 18

Sample of 2018 rate changes by industry/sector:

Industry  2018 Rate 2017 Rate Change
 Long-term care $5.87 $5.50 Up 7%
Home care $8.05 $7.24 Up 11%
Farming (including Christmas trees) $2.47 $3.09 Down 20%
Fish and seafood, wholesale $1.92 $2.40 Down 20%
Commercial construction $2.84 $3.46 Down 18%
Commercial fishing $4.92 $5.46 Down 10%
Hardware & machinery, wholesale $1.73 $1.40 Up 24%
Property management $1.73 $1.40 Up 24%
Dry bulk materials trucking $3.38 $2.78 Up 22%
Clothing and textile manufacturing $4.95 $4.13 Up 20%
Sawmills $6.26 $5.22 Up 20%
Residential construction $7.32 $6.67 Up 10%