Saskatoon, Sask., May 30, 2023 – Today, the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) shared its 2022 results at its annual general meeting (AGM) in Saskatoon. The WCB’s CEO, Phillip Germain, and members of the WCB’s executive team also provided an overview of the WCB’s financial, strategic and operating highlights, including 2022 workplace injuries and fatalities statistics.
The WCB has remained in a fully funded position at 114.8 per cent in 2022, an increase from 107.6 per cent in 2021. The improvement in the funded position is primarily related to the reduction in the benefits liability, based on changing claim cost experience compared to expectations, and changes in actuarial methods and assumptions. This position ensures that the organization has the capacity to cover the future costs of all claims in the system.
“Maintaining a strong funding position is vital to support injured workers in our province through benefits and programs to help restore their abilities,” says Germain. “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.”
Financial highlights of the WCB’s 2022 results include:
- Claim costs were $189.4 million in 2022, down from $336.2 million in 2021. While claim costs were relatively flat, changes in actuarial methods and assumptions such as the discount rate, led to the decrease.
- The WCB’s injury fund was at $436.0 million as of year-end 2022, compared to $549.4 million in 2021. The injury fund finances injured workers’ claims, including earnings loss, physical and vocational rehabilitation, prevention initiatives and other obligations under the WCB’s legislation, The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013.
- Premium revenue was $304.0 million in 2022, an increase of $44.5 million from 2021.
- The WCB recorded investment losses of $132.1 million in 2022, compared to investment income of $254.1 million in 2021. Global markets have experienced volatility as central banks raised interest rates in response to concerns regarding inflation.
- The WCB covered 400,392 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers in 2022, compared to 392,813 in 2021.
Injury data highlights in 2022 include:
- In 2022, 90 per cent of Saskatchewan workplaces reported zero injuries or fatalities for the third consecutive year.
- The workplace Total injury rate in 2022 decreased to 4.33 injuries per 100 workers, representing a five per cent decrease from the 2021 Total injury rate of 4.56 per 100 workers.
- The 2022 Time Loss injury rate increased slightly to 2.04 injuries per 100 workers compared to the 2021 rate of 2.03 injuries per 100 workers.
In March of this year, WorkSafe Saskatchewan, the partnership between the WCB and the Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety, launched a new strategy that focuses on two key streams of work that will be undertaken to reduce injuries and fatalities – a regulatory and enforcement stream, and a prevention and learning stream. Building on the success of the initial strategy launched in 2019, the new strategy lays out a direction for working together with stakeholders to address high-risk industries and occupations that are resulting in workplace fatalities and injuries.
“Without question, we must continue to work together to make all workplaces in Saskatchewan safe,” says Germain. “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.”
For more information on these results, the WCB’s 2022 annual report is available online at wcbsask.com
Carolyn Van der Veen
Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board