- Return to Work Rate Goes Up
- Average Claim Duration Goes Down
- Injury Rates Continue to Fall
- Remains Fully Funded
The WCB’s 2013 Annual Report has been tabled in the provincial legislature. WCB Chair Gord Dobrowolsky said that last year’s operating results were positive for injured workers and employers.
“Workers expect that their guarantee of benefits and services will be honoured if they get hurt,” Dobrowolsky said. “Employers expect that we will be effective and efficient in the administration of the compensation system. Our 2013 results show that we continue to meet their expectations very well.”
Dobrowolsky added that continuing declines in workplace injury rates was encouraging news, as was a drop in the number of accepted fatalities. He cautioned, though, that “we mustn’t lose sight of our zero fatalities target. Each injury and each death is preventable. Nearly one-third of the 2013 fatalities were caused by an occupational disease. We can and should be taking steps today to prevent these tragedies tomorrow.”
CEO Peter Federko pointed to an improved return to work rate, lower average claim duration, and a fully funded position as examples of results that matter to the WCB and to its customers. “Everyone achieves the best outcome when we stay focused on what an injured worker needs to recover and get back to the job, and then work with the worker, the employer and the health care system to help make that happen.”
The past year was a successful one for the WCB’s finances. Financial statements show a balance of just over $521 million in the Injury Fund at the end of 2013. Financial reporting standards require the WCB to report unrealized gains in investments in its Injury Fund. When the unrealized gains are removed, the Injury Fund ended the year at $209.9 million, over $38 million more than in 2012.
Federko noted that the positive financial results were achieved despite a drop in the 2013 average premium rate and after taking into account changes to the WCB’s benefit liabilities and reserves. He credited growth in assessable payroll and a 17.5 per cent return on the WCB’s investment portfolio.
The WCB will provide details of its 2013 performance at its AGMs scheduled for Saskatoon on May 6th and Regina on May 7th.