BCL – Our 30th Year in Business
It all began some 30 years ago…
when two former WCB employees got to chatting with an HR specialist, a lawyer and a paralegal and came up with an interesting business concept that could potentially save Alberta organizations money: What if they could provide unprecedented representation and consultation to Alberta employers on all matters pertaining to workers’ compensation?
As much as the WCB was (and is) focused on compensating and assisting injured workers, the financial foundation for the workers’ compensation system was funding provided through WCB premiums from Alberta employers. There were plenty of resources to support workers with issues related to entitlement, benefits and appeals — including worker advocates and the Office of the Appeals Advisor — but the same was not true for employers. Businesses were largely left on their own to figure out WCB premium rates and how they were established, to manage their WCB claims and fight their own appeals.
Based on their individual backgrounds and experience, the group realized many employers did not fully understand the connection between their WCB claims and the WCB premiums they paid; they were not aware that there were significant opportunities that could mitigate claims costs and reduce premiums. The group also discovered that even employers who understood the system often lacked the time, money or resources needed to explore and implement those opportunities.
Most businesses did not have employees dedicated to workers compensation, partly due to a lack of time and resources and partly because workers compensation is a gray area that crosses the departmental boundaries between human resources and accounts payable. As a result, premium statements were treated like invoices that just needed to be paid, employers ended up absorbing claim costs without question and ultimately paying higher premiums than necessary.
And so, Beller, Carreau, Dewald and Associates was established and opened for business in fall 1988. They offered their services to Alberta companies, to help them understand their premium rate calculations, identify areas where the costs used to establish their WCB premium rate could be reduced and provide assistance in navigating and interacting with the WCB system.
They helped employers grasp the concept that work-related injuries and incidents would never be completely eliminated, but by controlling the costs associated with WCB claims, premium rates could be significantly impacted.
They were able to show how this cost containment could be achieved in three separate areas:
- Before a claim: by preventative measures like compliance with Occupational Health and Safety standards and performing risk assessments. As well as, analysis of the calculations used to establish their WCB premiums.
- During a claim: by managing a claim from the moment of injury until the file was closed. As well as, appealing questionable decisions made by the WCB.
- After a claim: by a review to ensure that all the costs charged to a claim were associated with the injury incurred and requesting cost relief or cost removal for charges that were not related.
Since its inception, Beller, Carreau, Dewald and Associates has grown and gone through a number of transitions, eventually becoming BCL Consulting Group, as it is known today. BCL has been working with employers to minimize WCB and disability costs associated with work-related, personal injury and illness claims for more than 30 years. We have assisted over 1,800 organizations over four provinces thereby securing our position as Western Canada’s leader in this field.
Our dedicated team now consists of injury and disability consultants, physiotherapists, nurses, Canadian registered safety professionals (CRSP), human resource specialists and legal counsel. Beyond this, we also have an extensive network of associates and healthcare professionals across Western Canada who are available to provide services in other related areas.
We work with organizations and their employees to identify and solve internal problems related to accidents, injuries, illness and absenteeism. We also provide tools and training to identify risks and unnecessary costs related to disability.
When accidents do occur, we provide timely claims management from the inception to the conclusion of a claim. We not only keep on top of all the medical aspects of a claim but we help establish and implement effective Return to Work and Modified Duties programs.
When the WCB makes a decision on a claim that is questionable, we have the expertise to identify the issue and how it should be addressed, as well as the experience on how to proceed with an appeal at all levels of the WCB appeals process.
In addition to our dedication to cost control, we are committed to keeping abreast of new developments, trends, articles and projections that can have significant effects on how businesses operate. We have established and nurtured a positive rapport with WCB’s across western Canada and taken an active role in helping shape WCB Alberta policies.
By providing submissions on policy reform, we have ensured that the “employer’s” voice is heard and considered. In turn, WCB has asked us to participate in pilot projects to improve WCB relations with employers.
Over the years some original partners have left, some new partners have joined, the name has changed a few times, our coverage has expanded and our services have broadened — but what is remarkable is that some 30 years later, the values, focus and principles of the original company remain the same: purpose before profits.