Workers’ Compensation: Managing and Mitigating Energy Sector Claim Costs
The following blog post is published in the 2023 Saskatchewan Energy Report. You might think the oil & gas industry would be high on the list of the most dangerous occupations in Canada, but in fact, according to Avetta’s research (which used statistics from 2017-2019), the energy sector actually comes in 10th on the list. While this might seem like good news — and speaks to the industry’s adherence to safety principles — the reality is that work-related accidents and incidents still happen, and the associated costs of workers’ compensation claims are a significant concern for employers. For most employers, work-related injuries and illnesses are a harsh reality of doing business, and not just because of the lost productivity that is involved, but for financial reasons as well. Disruption of operations is one ramification of an on-the-job accident or incident, but the cost of every Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) claim […]
Is a WCB Claim Ever Officially Closed?
Your employee has been injured at work, they’ve received treatment, they’ve recovered, they’ve successfully returned to work and the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) has inactivated their claim but is that claim really closed? Once a worker has recovered from an injury and has returned to their full duties or has reached a medical plateau and is working at their maximum potential, the WCB Alberta sends a letter to the injured worker and their employer outlining what injuries were accepted, the treatment or services provided and the return to work details. The letter also advises that the claim will now be considered inactive. But what happens if a worker develops problems related to their work-related injury after their claim has been inactivated? Unlike private insurance claims, where there are defined time limits in which you can claim benefits, the WCB will always review any new information that is submitted. It does […]
WCB Alberta 2022 Annual Review: The Good, The Bad and The Same
Every year, the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) of Alberta reviews and updates various costs, expenses, allowances, and thresholds to keep in line with the current economic landscape. Changes that are approved affect numerous WCB policies and can impact payments to workers and claim costs for employers. Managing claim costs has always been and will continue to be challenging for employers, more so when they have no control over changes being made. However, this year comes with a mixed bag of offerings for Alberta employers: The Good: On a positive note, the WCB announced an increase of the cost threshold used to determine when a No Time Loss (NTL) claim will be used in the experience rating calculations that establish WCB premiums. Although cost threshold increases do not usually benefit employers, an increase to the NTL claims cost threshold does. Beginning January 1, 2022, the No Time Loss (NTL) claim threshold […]
Recent WCB Alberta Policy Updates – Is There Good News for Alberta Employers?
The Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) of Alberta recently announced a number of policy updates that are now in effect. While policy updates are intended to address issues and ensure that the WCB is staying current with the needs of injured workers yet remain fair to employers, the changes implemented often require closer examination to determine their impact. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at what has changed and how it might affect employers and their Employer Premium Rate Statements. Reimbursement of housekeeping expenses prior to December 1, 2013 – Policy 04-10, Part II, Application 3: On December 1, 2013, the WCB Alberta introduced a housekeeping allowance policy to cover expenses incurred by workers with permanent serious compensable disabilities that prevented them from performing the tasks themselves. Prior to December 1, 2013, these costs would have been paid by injured workers themselves. The policy revision is an acknowledgment […]
What Should You Be Checking on Your WCB Premium Rate Statement?
If you haven’t seen it already, your Premium Rate Statement has been issued and is available through WCB Alberta online access. It has been and continues to be a time of great uncertainty as we navigate our way through COVID-19, the economic impact of which will be felt for years to come. In 2020 and 2021, many Workers’ Compensation Boards (WCB) across Canada offered WCB premium relief measures to address the financial difficulties facing employers. Although the support was a welcome reprieve, WCB’s nationwide ended up absorbing premium shortfalls in order to maintain rate stability for employers and this is reflected in the premium rate statements currently being issued. Your Premium Rate Statement not only advises you of the WCB Premium rate you have been assessed for the coming year but provides you with the information used to calculate your rate. COVID-19 has changed the way some businesses operate; altered […]