Residential construction sees fewer injuries, decline in rates
HALIFAX, NS – Fewer people are being hurt on the job in the residential construction industry, and it’s leading to lower workers’ compensation premiums.
The industry rate in residential construction is set to decline by nine per cent in 2020, WCB Nova Scotia announced today, as part of its release of 2020 employer rates for workplace injury insurance.
Over the years, the construction community in Nova Scotia has made progress through education and training, thanks to safety association initiatives, access to resources, and awareness campaigns.
In 2008, there were 773 time-loss injuries in construction, and an injury rate of 3.2 time-loss injuries per 100 covered workers. Last year, there were 560 time-loss injuries, and an injury rate of 2.02. In setting an industry rate, claims costs are considered over a five-year period, ending at year-end 2018.
For decades, Construction Safety Nova Scotia has been laying the foundation for a stronger safety culture in the industry, with a focus on training programs, audits, and certifications. Organizations such as the Construction Association of Nova Scotia and Canadian Home Builders’ Association – Nova Scotia (CHBA-NS) also contribute to improvements in their industry’s safety record over the long term.
“The WCB is pleased to work alongside our safety partners to help make Nova Scotia workplaces safer,” says Stuart MacLean, CEO, WCB Nova Scotia.
MacLean says the construction industry is seeing the benefit of leaders who are passionate about making safety and return-to-work a priority. At the same time, he says, there are still too many people hurt on the job in construction. He says one injury or one fatality is too many, and progress in safety needs to continue.
"This is a step in the right direction for our members," says Karen Slaunwhite, Executive Officer, CHBA-NS. “When everyone works to prevent injuries and takes steps to manage injuries when they do happen, it translates to lower workers’ compensation costs. When our members pay lower premiums, they have more money to invest in their businesses. ”
Many employers will pay slightly lower rates in 2020, based on both their business and industry safety records. Industries who have improved their safety and return-to-work records include logging and forestry.
“Assessment rates are a reflection of the safety and return-to-work performance of an industry and the employers within it,” says MacLean. “Some industries have made progress, and are paying less next year because of it. Other industries have seen their claims costs increase, and just like other insurance, their premiums will increase as a result.”
Many industries within health care (includes special care homes, home care, seniors’ apartments, and nursing homes), dry bulk materials trucking, general and/or department stores, and members of the concrete industry are among those who will pay higher premiums in 2020.
Overall, WCB Nova Scotia employer assessment rates will remain stable in 2020. The average assessment rate has been $2.65 per $100 of payroll for the past 16 years.
For more information about 2020 WCB employer assessment rates and how they’re calculated, visit wcb.ns.ca/rates
. The 2020 list of surcharged employers can be found here
2020 assessment rates at a glance:
• 2020 average rate: $2.65 per $100 of assessable payroll
• Number of covered employers: 19,500
• Number of surcharged employers: 94
• Percentage of covered employers that are surcharged: 0.48%