REGINA, SK – The Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board’s 2016 Annual Report was tabled in the provincial legislature today. Chair Gord Dobrowolsky said the WCB remains fully funded, with sufficient assets to cover the future costs of all claims in the system at December 31, 2016.
“This is the guarantee made to injured workers, that benefits and programs would be available when a workplace injury occurs,” Dobrowolsky said. “It also affirms our commitment to employers that the system will be run effectively and efficiently.”
The WCB’s 2016 financial results include:
- A $281.5 million surplus was distributed to employers in two payments in 2016.
- Claims costs increased 47.7 per cent from $194.2 million to $286.8 million. Future claims costs accounted for an increase of $71.3 million compared to a decrease in 2015 of $13.0 million. A $7.7 million increase from 2015 reflects the 2016 maximum wage rate increase.
- The WCB ended fiscal year 2016 with a $246.3 million Comprehensive Loss after the surplus distribution of $281.5 million compared to Comprehensive Loss of $7.5 million in 2015. The WCB remains fully funded at 118.7%.
- With continuing declines in the Time Loss Injury rate and increases in reported payroll, the average premium rate for 2017 dropped 7.5 per cent to $1.24, down from $1.34 in 2016, the lowest in over 32 years and the third lowest in Canada.
- $281.8 million in premium revenue and $127.1 million in investment revenue made up a total revenue of $408.9 million in 2016.
The year marked a number of significant milestones including 88 per cent of employers who achieved Mission: Zero – Zero injuries; Zero suffering; Zero fatalities.
WCB’s CEO Peter Federko said, “Saskatchewan’s total injury rate decreased in 2016 from 6.30 per cent to 5.55 per cent per 100 workers which surpassed our annual target of 5.90 per cent. “Our goal for 2016 was a time loss injury rate of 2 per cent. At 1.86 per cent, we exceeded that.”
The time loss injury rate has fallen 62.4 per cent since 2002 when WorkSafe Saskatchewan was founded. The WCB is reporting the lowest time loss injury rate in 64 years.
Federko said, “We’ve seen the beneficial impact when workers, employers and leaders from around the province band together to focus on safety in our workplaces and communities.”
But he said, despite the successes evident from the 2016 results, there are still challenges to face in the years ahead. “In 2016, we lost 31 people in workplace fatalities – nine were due to traumatic incidents, 14 to occupational disease and four to motor vehicle incidents. Saskatchewan still has the third highest workplace injury rate in Canada. Our work isn’t done. We can’t stop until we achieve Mission:Zero.”
Federko said, “In 2016, our focus at the WCB was – and continues to be – improving customer service. As a customer-centric organization, we always want to be adding value for our customers through continuous process improvement. Going forward, one of our highest priority objectives is to improve service quality to our customers.”
The WCB will provide details of its 2016 performance at the AGM scheduled for Regina on May 3 and Saskatoon on May 4.
Mission: Zero is an initiative to eliminate workplace injuries in Saskatchewan. Launched at the WCB’s 2008 Annual General Meeting, the Mission: Zero campaign and programs drive home the impact of work injuries and the importance of workplace safety and injury prevention. The intent behind Mission: Zero is to bring about faster and deeper reductions to the provincial workplace injury rate.