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Alberta WCB hike 2003 rates

CALGARY, Alta. -- The Alberta WCB premium rates for 2003 will increase by much more than anticipated.


CALGARY, Alta. — The Alberta WCB premium rates for 2003 will increase by much more than anticipated.

The rates for general trucking will be $6.18 up 25%, specialized trucking $6.12 up 9% and garbage $4.20 down 3.7%. The premium rates are driven by the cost of workplace injuries, and in 2003 the rates will increase by 12.5% to meet the rising costs.

The 2003 premium rate will fully fund expected claims costs in the coming year. Between 1997 and 2001, claims costs almost doubled to $831 million, and the average cost per claim in 2001 was $13,200 to a forecast of $14,900 for the upcoming year.

This increase is largely due to increased cost of services and benefits. This year will be the first year that financial gains will not be used to discount premium rates.

Rates should reflect safety performance, not market volatility, says President and CEO, Guy Kerr.

"We already reward employers who have excellent safety records with premium rebates and we will be discussing opportunities to implement more programs that reward good performers down the road in order to encourage employers to make significant improvements in workplace safety," says Kerr.


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