FREDERICTON, N.B. — The New Brunswick Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission (WHSCC) announced an increase to the average assessment rate charged to employers.
The cost of workplace injuries increased significantly in 2001 and is expected to be higher in 2002. As a result the assessment rate charged to employers will increase by 15 per cent, to $1.90 per $100 of insured payroll.
This is the first significant increase in rates since 1992. Although, New Brunswick will still have one of the lowest rates in Canada, and the lowest rate in the Atlantic region.
“New Brunswick legislation requires the commission be fully funded,” explains Ray Campbell, chairman of the WHSCC. “This means the commission must have sufficient funds on hand for all the future medical and wage replacement costs of injured workers.”
The transportation sector of WHSCC is dominated by trucking with year-to-date payrolls are down by eight per cent, mostly in trucking and the cost of claims is trending upwards. The present rate for general freight classification is $3.07. This will rise by 33 per cent to $4.09 on Jan. 1.
A number of factors caused the increased costs. They include income tax reductions, difficult access to medical treatment, increased numbers of accidents, and the economic slowdown. All these factors have not been observed at the same time since 1991-92.
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