PEI WCB highlights 2023 achievements

New initiatives also revealed at annual general meeting

PEI WCB highlights 2023 achievements

The Workers Compensation Board (WCB) of Prince Edward Island recently held its annual general meeting, showcasing significant achievements from 2023 and unveiling new initiatives designed to enhance workplace safety and compensation for workers.

The WCB concluded its 2019-2023 Strategic Plan with notable advancements in support for injured workers and balanced service for employers. Jim MacPhee, chair of the WCB, remarked, “Our plan ushered in a new era of innovation and commitment to workplace safety and compensation, positively impacting workers and employers across the Island.”

Increased compensation rate

Continuing from enhancements begun in 2022, the compensation rate for wage loss benefits increased from 85% to 90% of net earnings. This adjustment aims to mitigate the financial impact of injuries and illnesses on workers, addressing the rising cost of living.

Decreased injury frequency

The injury frequency rate, a metric indicating the number of time-loss injuries per 100 workers annually, improved significantly. In 2023, PEI's time-loss injury frequency was 1.16, compared to the national average of 1.92. This reduction highlights ongoing safety improvements in Island workplaces.

New online claim filing and psychological care process

The WCB introduced an online claim filing system, allowing workers to report and file work-related injury or illness claims securely and conveniently from any device, 24/7. Additionally, a new Psychological Care Process was implemented, offering timely diagnosis and treatment for work-related psychological injuries, including access to psychologists and a network of counsellors.

Expansion of safety resources

New and updated safety resources were released, including the PEI Aquaculture Safety Code of Practice and the PEI Farm Safety Code of Practice. These resources provide current and accessible occupational health and safety guidance for these key industries. Furthermore, new workshops on silica dust hazards and control were introduced.

Increased employer satisfaction and surplus distribution

Employer satisfaction reached its highest level, with 85% of registered employers expressing complete or high satisfaction with their WCB experience. The Service Satisfaction Index rose to 84.2, reflecting a significant improvement since 2003.

Based on the audited financial statements from December 31, 2022, and the WCB's funding policy, a $21 million surplus distribution was approved for Island employers. Employers with up-to-date accounts received their share of this surplus in December 2023.

Reflections and future directions

Dan Campbell, CEO of the WCB, emphasized the importance of continued vigilance in workplace safety, noting, “The decreased frequency of injuries is good news, but the work-related fatality in 2023 reminds us that prevention and safety must always be top of mind.”