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Average assessment rate remains steady for 15th year in Nova Scotia

Employers in air transportation, construction, fishing to see decrease in their 2019 rate

Employer assessment rates will remain stable in 2019, according to WCB Nova Scotia. The average assessment rate has been $2.65 per $100 of payroll for the past 15 years.

Individual assessment rates will be changing for some employers, based on their business and industry safety records. More than one-half (56 per cent) of Nova Scotia employers will pay the same or less in 2019 than they did in 2018, while 44 per cent will see an increase.

“Our rate model in Nova Scotia is structured so that industries with high claim costs pay more, and industries with low claim costs pay less,” said WCB Nova Scotia CEO Stuart MacLean. “While we do have industries making progress, many are still seeing higher rates due to poor performance.” 

Thanks to an increased focus on developing a strong safety culture, employers in air transportation, construction and fishing are among those who will pay less next year. Dry materials trucking, golf courses and sawmills are among the industries that will pay more.

Nova Scotians are still more likely to be hurt caring for others in their homes than in any other line of work. While the assessment rate for nursing homes has begun to stabilize, the rate for home care will reach $8.80 per $100 of payroll in 2019, a nine per cent increase over the previous year. 

“While we have seen significant progress over the last decade, the impact of workplace injury in Nova Scotia is still too high,” said MacLean. “Behind every number is a person and family whose lives have been changed by workplace injury, some of whom will never be the same. Both the human and financial costs of poor safety records affect us all.”  

Employers with claims costs significantly and consistently higher than their industry peers — 96 in 2019 — will face a surcharge over and above their normal assessment rate. There are 19,500 covered employers in the province.

MacLean said the best way to reduce rates is by making workplaces safer, and helping workers who are injured make a healthy, safe and timely return to the workplace.

“We have seen the most success from organizations and industries that have made a top-down commitment to making safety a top priority. Everyone has a role to play when it comes to contributing to a safe work environment and everyone has the opportunity to be a leader.”  

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