WSIB@WORK Fall 2016 | Issue 4
Seasonal Newsletter brought to you by WSIB Ontario
Stakeholder Annual General Meeting2016 is turning into another landmark year for our organization as we strive to become more financially secure, transparent and accountable to the people we serve – this province’s employers and injured workers. And this progress is on the brink of paying real dividends – as was outlined September 14th at our Annual General Meeting in Toronto.With regard to premiums, we will be seeing a five per cent reduction on the average premium rate for 2017 – together with reductions to the average rate which may be possible in future years.No rate groups will see a premium increase, with the exception of two impacted by the new PTSD legislation (specifically municipal government and ambulance operators). Instead, premium rates will be held steady for the rate groups that have experienced increasing new claims costs.All Ontarians stand to benefit from lower WSIB premium rates: As a result of the 2017 reduction alone, we estimate that some $250 million will remain in our economy. This could give Ontario businesses the capacity to increase hiring, or invest in productivity-boosting plant and equipment.It is important to emphasize that the reduction in our unfunded liability and the resulting premium rate reductions are taking place at a time when benefits for injured workers have been maintained.—————————————
First Premium Rate Reduction since 2001 – Learn more at Technical Rate Sessions this FallThe Workplace Safety and Insurance Board announced that there will be a five per cent reduction on the average premium rate for Schedule 1 in 2017.A five per cent rate reduction represents a premium decrease from a Schedule 1 average of $2.59 on every $100 of insurable payroll to an average of $2.46.For 2017, rate groups that have shown positive performance will see a decrease of up to 14 per cent compared to 2016.No rate groups will see an increase in their premium rates, with the exception of two affected by the new presumptive Post Traumatic Stress Disorder legislation – Rate Group 845: Local Government Services and Rate Group 590: Ambulance Services.After reaching a high of $14.2 billion in 2011, the WSIB’s unfunded liability (UFL) today has been cut by more than half to $5.6 billion. The reduction of the UFL and associated premium rate reductions are taking place at a time when benefits for injured workers have been maintained and enhanced.Average benefits have remained stable since 2009. As well, 92 per cent of injured workers return to work with no wage loss within 12 months of injury.Technical rate sessions for industry stakeholders will be held at select times during the fall of 2016. These sessions will include recommendations on how to improve premium rates as well as relevant information on improving health and safety outcomes in the workplace. For more details on these sessions please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.—————————————
Newly Launched: Updated Noise Induced Hearing Loss Program of CareWe’ve introduced an updated Program of Care for Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) as part of the ongoing implementation of the 2013 NIHL Value for Money Audit. Developed in collaboration with the Association of Hearing Instrument Practitioners of Ontario and the Ontario Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists, the new program will help to ensure workers impacted by occupational noise induced hearing loss receive comprehensive, evidence-based care, as well as streamlining administrative work for hearing health care providers. The program provides hearing services to reduce the impact of hearing loss through the provision of hearing aids to improve a worker’s quality of life, including providing assessment, dispensing and fitting of hearing aids, follow-up care, and education and support for workers and their families or caregivers. For more information, click here.—————————————This summer we put out the call for young workers to send us pictures of them practicing safe work for the chance to win a cash prize – and they answered! Last year, the campaign attracted 90 entries from youth across the province.
Our Second Summer of #PracticeSafeWorkThis year, we more than quadrupled our entries with 373 photo entries! Our campaign ads have been seen by thousands of Torontonians on TTC transit cars and our social media content connected us nationally. Plus, our Facebook ads alone reached 1.7 million people! We are overwhelmed by the incredible support from Ontario’s next generation of workers! Check out some of our winners athttp://www.practicesafework.ca/.—————————————
Our Favorite Month!
Are you passionate about creating a healthy workplace for you and your colleagues? If you answered yes then you’re in luck because October is Healthy Workplace month! From October 1st to 31st employers, businesses and staff from across Canada will start conversations about how to make their work environments safer and healthier. The campaign focuses on four main areas of workplace health: healthy lifestyles, workplace cultures and mental health, physical environment and corporate social responsibility. This month will inspire everyone to fulfill their collective responsibility of health and safety! To learn more about Healthy Workplace Month click here.—————————————
What You Can’t See, Still HurtsOctober 2nd to October 6th is Mental Illness Awareness Week. This week was created to educate Canadians about the reality of individuals dealing with mental illness. The WSIB recognizes that a person’s physical health and mental health are equally important when creating a healthy lifestyle. The Healthy Workplace Centre and our external partners have resources to help staff identify and manage their own mental illness and support co-workers who may be struggling. During this week, the WSIB community will strive to build a culture of support, awareness and understanding to facilitate important conversations and end the stigma surrounding mental illness. To learn more about Mental Illness Awareness Week click here.—————————————
Small Business Week October 16-22
Small Business Week is a nationwide annual celebration dedicated to entrepreneurship. The WSIB recognizes the unique needs of small business owners and the challenges they face in understanding health and safetyresponsibilities. WSIB has a dedicated team of small business consultants and we offer information sessions, training programs, resources and on-site support. Are you a small business owner who needs help understanding both your occupational health and safety, and return-to-work responsibilities? We offer several information sessions and training programs throughout the province. Our programs are free, you will receive resources tailored for small businesses and you may be eligible to receive a 5% rebate on your WSIB premiums. Connect with us and learn more here.
Now Available: Applications for 2017 WSIB Safety Groups Program
If you’re an employer who wants to increase your productivity, gain access to health and safety resources, and even benefit from financial incentives, then consider joining a WSIB safety group. These are just some of the benefits of joining the program, which brings employers together to network and share best practices. It also recognizes employers who make it a priority to eliminate workplace injuries by making their workplaces safer. For more information about the program, click here.
WSIB United WayWe e have a long history of partnership with the United Way, dating back over a quarter of a century. The United Way is an autonomous non-profit organization that operates in communities across the globe. Today, there are over 100 United Ways across the county. The organization partners with local social service programs and initiatives inside a specific region to build partnerships and support local community programming. When a person donates to the United Way, they are directly investing their money back into the place they live, work, learn and play. Over our years of partnership, the WSIB has raised approximately $ 3.75 million for United Way. Individuals can donate by cheque, credit card or payroll deduction. When any staff member wants to donate, they can specify which initiative they want their money to support within the United Way (i.e. Big Brothers Big Sisters, Animal Shelters, Poverty programs etc.). Last year the campaign goal was $250,000 and we surpassed it by raising $266,024. This year, the goal is $270,000. The campaign officially begins on September 19th and ends on December 31st.—————————————
WSIB Open Data Consultations – Tell us what data you want to see firstWant to have a say in which datasets the WSIB publishes first under the Open Data Initiative? We want to hear from you. We’re asking for you to help us determine which datasets listed in our Dataset Inventory we should give priority for publishing. The Dataset Inventory is a list of datasets created and managed by the WSIB, and made available under the Open Data Directive, part of Ontario’s Open Government initiative. The Directive came into effect on April 1, 2016.You can tell us what you’d like to see by voting online or by sending us a written submission. Voting will open on September 22nd and close onDecember 30th. Visit our Open Data Consultation web page to learn more.—————————————
Talking to and listening to workers is vital for us at the WSIB. We appreciate every chance to sit down and hear someone’s story. To hear Arden’s courageous story, click here.
—————————————Tom Talks! WSIB CEO’s new blogThomas Teahen, the President and CEO of the WSIB, is starting his very own blog. It will run bi-weekly starting this fall. The blog is going to allow him to connect with the WSIB’s stakeholders and also to update them on our news, business, programs and other health and safety initiatives. It will be published on the WSIB website and tweeted out from the President’s Twitter account and the main WSIB account. So don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @WSIBPresident so you can be first to see every new post from Tom! Check out the first post here.
The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.
To injured workers, we’re the agency that provides wage-loss benefits, health care coverage, and return to work and transition programs. To employers, we’re the agency that provides no-fault collective liability insurance and access to industry-specific health and safety information. But to our employees, we’re simply the agency that believes in getting injured workers across Ontario back to what matters.