For the second year in a row, Alberta (Canada) employers will see a reduction in their average premium rate. The rate is decreasing to $1.57 per $100 of insurable earnings in 2006 from $1.83 in 2005.
Guy Kerr, president and CEO of the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) – Alberta, announced the 14 per cent rate decrease to stakeholders at a business meeting recently. The Board will mail individual premium notices to employers this month.
At the meeting, Kerr focused on the positive trends affecting WCB-Alberta in 2005, including:
* A decrease in average claim duration of 14 per cent to 34.4 days;
* A reduction of the lost time claim rate to 2.4 per 100 workers; and
* The restoration of WCB’s required funding levels – an achievement that reduced the 2006 premium rate by 23 cents.
Board results were supported by positive investment returns and an increase in employer insurable earnings reflecting strong economic activity in the province.
However, Kerr cautioned stakeholders to stay focused on reducing injuries. He pointed to Alberta’s disabling injury rate and emphasized that at the forecast of 4.2 disabling injuries per 100 workers, more work needs to be done. The disabling injury rate counts time loss and no time loss claims where an injury is serious enough to warrant a change in job duties or modified work.
Kerr closed the meeting with a challenge to stakeholders to maintain their focus on safety, “Together we can continue to make a difference in Alberta’s workplaces. Our corporate results reflect many years of focus and partnerships. Future improvement requires our absolute determination to keep Albertans safe.”
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