Insights

When Should an Employer Report an Accident to the WCB?

Posted in: Worker's Compensation Board | Posted by Rebecca Ingram on October 1, 2019

As much as we try to avoid them, the reality is that accidents happen at work. Some are minor, some result in medical treatment, and unfortunately some result in serious injury or death. Most work-related accidents are obvious and reporting them to the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) makes sense. Yet some accidents or incidents seem so inconsequential that it does not make sense to spend the time, effort and expense to report them. So, in these situations, how does an employer decide when to report an accident to the WCB and when not to? Essentially there are 3 criteria an employer needs to consider when determining if a minor work injury needs to be reported to the WCB: First Aid versus Medical Aid  Job duty modification Damage to personal medical aids and appliances First Aid vs Medical Aid In Alberta, WCB Policy 01-05, Part 1, Reporting and Recording Accidents addresses […]

Worried About WCB claims? Here’s What Every Employer Should Know

Posted in: Worker's Compensation Board,workplace wellness | Posted by Rebecca Ingram on December 11, 2018

Alberta is facing hard times. The Alberta Government has just announced cuts to oil patch production starting in the New Year and there are talks of an economic and financial crisis facing the province as a whole. The fallout of this development will not only be realized potentially through layoffs and downsizing within the oil and gas sector, but the ripple effect may be felt throughout the rest of the economy as well. There has been a longstanding correlation between a downturn in the economy and the rise in Workers’ Compensation (WCB) claims. Now is the time for Alberta employers to take action and reduce their risk of fraudulent and opportunistic claims. Not only to prevent WCB claims but also to reduce the overall risks your workers might face. Here are 3 preventative measures employers can take to try to minimize claims: 1) Be hypervigilant about safety in the workplace, […]

Maximum Insurable Earnings, Cost Relief and the New WCB Alberta Legislation

Posted in: WCB Law,Worker's Compensation Board | Posted by Rebecca Ingram on October 16, 2018

Another change to the Alberta Workers’ Compensation Act involved maximum insurable earnings (MIE). Up until September 1, 2018, MIE was a figure, set by the Worker’s Compensation Board (WCB) which served two purposes; 1) It was used to establish a weekly compensation rate maximum; based on a capped pre-accident gross insurable earnings sum.  In turn, workers would only be compensated for earnings up to the capped pre-accident gross earnings amount, 2) It was also used as the reportable gross earnings per worker figure or the maximum assessable earnings (MAE) employers were required to report to the WCB for rate setting purposes. As of September 1, 2018, the MIE has been broken down into two distinct categories: Compensable Earnings and Assessable Earnings. Compensable earnings will be the amount used to calculate an injured workers wage loss benefits and will have no limit. As a result of the legislative changes, the cap […]

WCB Accident Fund Surplus: Have Your Say

Posted in: Claims Costs,WCB Law,WCB Premium Reduction,Worker's Compensation Board | Posted by Rebecca Ingram on December 20, 2016

As part of the government directed WCB Review currently underway in Alberta, the Review Panel is taking a closer look at WCB-Alberta’s Accident Fund and how it is managed. This has been a topic of discussion in recent workshops and the Panel is very keen on getting as much input as possible from stakeholders. WCB Accident Fund The Accident Fund is established from Employer Premiums. The WCB is funded through premiums assessed to employers. There are no tax dollars or employee payroll deductions involved in the workers’ compensation system. Each year the WCB establishes the premiums that employers will pay. These rates are set so that the total premiums collected in the current year will pay for all estimated present and future costs of claims that are made during that year. Based on the overall amount of premiums that need to be collected, the WCB determines premium rates for each […]

Worker’s Compensation Board Under Review

Posted in: Claims Costs,WCB Law,WCB Premium Reduction,Worker's Compensation Board | Posted by Rebecca Ingram on December 5, 2016

In March 2016, the Alberta Government announced that it would be conducting a review of the province’s workers’ compensation system. Although the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) is not a government agency per se, the WCB was created by the Alberta Government to administer the Workers’ Compensation Act and as such, is responsible to ensure the WCB is operating as fairly, efficiently and effectively as possible. To that end, an independent three-member panel is conducting a formal review of the entire workers’ compensation system, including the WCB, the Appeals Commission and the Medical Panel Office. As part of the review, the Panel is looking at how things are done, how effective the process is, what is working, what is not, what needs to be improved and what needs to be changed. Further details regarding the review can be found in Working Together: A Guide to the Review of the Workers’ Compensation […]

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