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Safe industries benefit with reduced premiums in B.C.

RICHMOND, B.C. -- The trucking industry in B.C. is among a number of industries in the province, which will see a s...

RICHMOND, B.C. — The trucking industry in B.C. is among a number of industries in the province, which will see a substantial reduction in base rates in 2008 from WorkSafeBC.

WorkSafeBC is proposing a 7.6% reduction in the average premium base rate for 2008, which will be $1.56 per $100 of assessable payroll compared to $1.69 in 2007.

This is the lowest rate employers have experienced in more than 30 years.

This is a good news story for B.C. employers and their workers, said Sid Fattedad, CFO with WorkSafeBC. Base rates will be among the lowest in Canada. The sound financial condition of WorkSafeBC makes it the first Canadian workers compensation organization currently capable of meeting minimum capital adequacy test standards required of insurance companies. This ensures our ability to provide payment security for injured workers while providing premium rate stability for employers into the future.

Overall, 73% of employers will see reductions in their 2008 base rates, 11% will see their rates remain unchanged and 16% of employers rates will increase.

Most classification units across all industry sectors are witnessing base rate decreases. With a projected base rate decrease of 20%, general trucking is at the top end, along with a number of other key industries, including: sawmills, paper mills, open pit mining, hotels, general retail, shipbuilding, hi-tech manufacturing, as well as light industrial manufacturing, road construction and construction trades such as painting, plumbing, and electrical work.

We have been fortunate that this far into the current economic expansion the injury rate has not risen, cautioned Fattedad. With the help of employers and workers engaging in safe work practices and effective return-to-work programs, we are sure that the cost of injuries can remain on a declining track.

WorkSafeBC is releasing preliminary rates to provide reasonable notice to employers and an indication of the direction of their premium rates. Preliminary rates are reliable as indicators; however, they may differ when final rates are set in October.

Information on the 2008 preliminary rates is available on the WorkSafeBC web site at

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