WCB reports total injury rate drop in 2022

WCB CEO Philip Germain speaks during the organization’s AGM in Saskatoon on Tuesday. -- Photo from the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board Facebook page.

For the third straight year, more than 90 per cent of Saskatchewan workplaces reported zero injuries or fatalities.

The numbers were included in the data presented at the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) annual general meeting in Saskatoon on Tuesday. The total injury rate also decreased compared to the year before, while the time loss injury rate slightly increased.

“Without question, we must continue to work together to make all workplaces in Saskatchewan safe,” WCB CEO Philip Germain said in a press release. “Working with our stakeholders – including employers, unions, researchers and associations – the updated Fatalities and Serious Injuries Strategy will guide us in our efforts to bring injury rates down.

“We will continue to work with our partners to enhance our workers’ compensation system and to ensure that every Saskatchewan worker returns home safely at the end of each work day.”

The total injury rate dropped from 4.556 per 100 works in 2021 to 4.33 per 100 workers in 2022. The time loss injury rate increased from 2.03 to 2.04 during that same time.

The WCB reported $189.4 million in claims costs in 2022, a significant drop from $336.2 million in 2021. However, the WCB credits that to changes in actuarial methods and assumptions, such as the discount rate.

Germain said the WCB remains fully funded, which will allow them to cover the future costs of all claims in the system. The organization covered 400,392 full-time equivalent workers in 2022, compared to 392,813 in 2021.

“Maintaining a strong funding position is vital to support injured workers in our province through benefits and programs to help restore their abilities,” Germain said. “A solid funding position also provides employers with the confidence that their needs will be met, as we strive toward enhancing our efficiencies and customer experience.”

In March, Worksafe Saskatchewan and the Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety launched a new strategy to reduce injuries and fatalities: a regulator and enforcement stream and a prevention and learning stream.