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The preliminary assessment rates for 2013 have been announced by WorkSafeBC. The rates are described as preliminary because they have not yet been approved by the WorkSafeBC board of directors, but this approval is expected by October.
Grant McMillan
Grant McMillan

View from the Board | Grant McMillan

The preliminary assessment rates for 2013 have been announced by WorkSafeBC.

The rates are described as preliminary because they have not yet been approved by the WorkSafeBC board of directors, but this approval is expected by October.

The preliminary rates normally become the actual rates.

The Industrial, Commercial and Institutional is at its lowest rate ever – $3.27 per $100 of payroll.

However, there are major challenges before us.

The return on the WorkSafeBC investment portfolio has decreased significantly in recent years.

As a result, more of the money to fund the cost of claims has to come from employer assessments.

The Duration of Construction claims – the average time off on claim – continues at record high levels of about 75 days.

This is up from an average of 50 days only four years ago.

This increase in duration is probably due to the lingering effects of the recession, but construction companies need to become much more active with Return to Work and Stay at Work programs.

With fewer jobs to go back to, workers may be staying off on a claim longer.

Construction employers may also have been focused on securing new jobs rather than on Return to Work plans for injured workers.

We need to focus on Return to Work plans to reduce our rates.

The best way to improve performance on Return to Work is to seek help from the WorkSafeBC Construction Nurse Line when you need it. The service is free, as it is already paid for with assessments.

For help with Return to Work, Disability Management or Claim Updates call: 604-279-8155, or 1-877-633-6233

For help with claim management in general – the best strategy is to get involved early in the claim – contact the B.C. Construction Safety Alliance for free advice and assistance.

Vernita Hsu is their injury management co-ordinator. She can be reached at 604-636-3675 or at vhsu@bccsa.ca.

The changes in some of the construction rate groups are shown below.

All preliminary assessment rates for 2013 shown below are in dollars per $100 payroll.

Examples of preliminary rate decreases are:

Industrial, Commercial and Institutional decreases from $3.35 to $3.27

Steep Slope Roofing decreases from $10.88 to $9.66

Examples of preliminary rates increases are:

Highway Maintenance increases from $2.85 to $2.86

Concrete Placing increases from $3.24 to $3.57.

Low Slope Roofing increases from $5.19 to $5.42

Masonry increases from to $2.85 to $2.90

Construction labour supply increases from $4.01 to $4.46

Building Demolition increases from $5.32 to $5.64

Crane Operation increases from $3.39 to $3.73

Plumbing, Heating, Residential Air Conditioning increases from $2.39 to $2.55

Home Building increases from $5.19 to $5.53

Power Pole, Powerline, or Transmission Line Installation, Service and Repair increases from $3.38 to $3.71

Painting or Wallpapering increases from $3.30 to $3.62

Structural Moving increases from $5.12 to $5.38

The preliminary assessment rate for Electrical Work remains at $1.81.

The complete list of WorkSafeBC preliminary rates for 2012 can be viewed here.

Grant McMillan is the president of the Council of Construction Associations (COCA), which represents the interests of 16 construction associations in B.C. on WorkSafeBC matters. Grant is also a member of the Journal of Commerce Editorial Advisory Board.

CORRECTION: The WorkSafeBC preliminary assessment rate for Concrete Placing was incorrect in the Aug. 20 print issue of the Journal of Commerce. Concrete Placing is increasing from $3.24 to $3.57 per $100 of payroll. The Journal of Commerce regrets any confusion this may have caused.

by Journal Of Commerce

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