WorkSafeBC premium rates dip to 30-year low

RICHMOND, B.C. — General trucking operations in B.C. will enjoy a base rate drop of at least 15% from WorkSafeBC the province’s Workers’ Compensation Board while employers across the province will see a reduction on average by 10.8%.

The 2007 average published base rate will be $1.69 per $100 of assessable payroll, compared to $1.90 in 2006.

While the reduction reflects recent years’ trends of stable injury rates and lower duration of injuries, it is largely due to very positive investment returns that enable WorkSafeBC to maintain lower premium rates for employers.

“The average rate for B.C. employers will be lower than at any time in the past three decades, and among the lowest in Canada,” said Sid Fattedad, CFO with WorkSafeBC. “While economic expansion in British Columbia means more jobs and thus more claim volumes, the rate at which workers are injured has been holding steady. In periods of significant economic growth, it is normal to expect that the injury rate would turn up. However, with the help of employers and workers engaging in safety training and effective return-to-work programs, the cost of injuries is expected to stay on a declining track.”

Overall, more than 68% of employers will see a reduction in their 2007 base rate, 10% will see their rates remain unchanged and 22% of employers” rates will increase.

To help industries lower their injury and premium rates, WorkSafeBC has worked with industries to establish safety associations in forestry, construction, agriculture, and the oil and gas industries, and continues to develop sector-based business teams to work closely with industry and labour groups.

“Premiums are primarily driven by injury costs,” said Fattedad. “It’s important to recognize that industries can influence their rates by improving safety and return-to-work programs with effective disability management.”

Information on 2007 rates is available on the WorkSafeBC Web site at

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