(WINNIPEG) – The Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba (WCB) released its 2014 Annual Report today. The highlights include a surplus of $110 million and reshaping the organization to build a stronger workers compensation system for the future. The WCB also released its 2015 – 2019 Five Year Plan.
"Building on our financial and system security, we began work on key strategic initiatives that will benefit Manitoba workers and employers while also transforming the workers compensation system to meet future demands and expectations," said Winston Maharaj, WCB President and CEO. "We are on the cusp of significant growth and opportunities and we are well-positioned to meet future demands based on a strong stable foundation."
In 2014, work began on the development of a compliance framework that protects the integrity of the workers compensation system and a review of the assessment rate model. As well, the WCB introduced additional online services for employers and began work on customer journey mapping to better understand and enhance service to its customers.
The Annual Report also introduced a new measure of "days lost to workplace injury and illness" which is defined as the sum total of days the WCB has paid to workers in a given time frame. For 2014, 1.8 days were lost to workplace injury and illness for each full time worker, down from 2.15 in 2010. This figure has been declining steadily over the past five years, resulting in less disruption to injured workers and their families and reduced costs to the provincial economy.
"This measure shows that workers are missing fewer days off work as a result of workplace injuries and illnesses which demonstrates the combined effect of prevention efforts and return to work initiatives," said Maharaj. "Our prevention efforts helped reduce injuries which had a significant effect on reducing the number of days lost for workers."
In addition, employers' and workers' focused efforts to help workers return to health and meaningful work, as soon as they can safely do so, is a key driver in the days lost measure. Effective return to work programs minimize the impact of an injury, promote recovery and benefit both workers and employers.
The WCB also made great strides in implementing Manitoba's Five-Year Plan for Workplace Injury and Illness Prevention by creating SAFE Work Manitoba, the entity that consolidates prevention services of the WCB and Workplace Safety and Health. The Annual Report includes SAFE Work Manitoba Financials that disclose the WCB's investment in prevention.
"Strong financial stewardship and successful prevention and return to work efforts by the WCB, its partners, and the workers and employers of Manitoba have made 2014 a success," said Maharaj. "The surplus allowed us to announce a decrease of the average assessment rate for 2015 by approximately 13 per cent to $1.30 per $100 of assessable payroll." The time loss injury rate also remained consistent at 3.2 per 100 full time workers in 2014.
The Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba is a mutual workplace injury and disability insurance agency funded by employer premiums. We are here to insure and support safe and healthy work and workplaces. We put workers and employers at the centre of all we do. We provide them with valued services for injury prevention, compensation and return to health and work while maintaining system integrity.
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