How to Lower WCB Premiums

Posted in: Claims Costs,WCB Premium Reduction | Posted by Rebecca Ingram on June 27, 2023

Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) premiums in Alberta are determined based on various factors, including industry classification, past claim history, and total assessable payroll. The calculations can be complicated and complex with seemingly little that is within an employer’s control. 

While many of the components and formulas used to determine premiums rates are fixed, there are some simple strategies employers that can have a positive impact. 

The single most important thing an employer should focus on is claims. How to prevent them, how to manage them and how to stop them from happening again. Reducing claim costs has a direct impact on lowering WCB premiums and there are steps employers can take before, during or after a work-related incident that can improve the outlook significantly. 

Over the next few months, we will be exploring these avenues in greater depth. In the meantime, here are 10 ways Alberta employers can reduce their WCB premiums:

  1. Implement safety programs: Developing and implementing effective health and safety programs can help prevent workplace injuries. This can include conducting regular safety training for employees, promoting a safety culture, and enforcing safety protocols and procedures.
  2. Conduct risk assessments: Regularly assessing workplace hazards and identifying potential risks can help in implementing appropriate controls and preventive measures. By proactively addressing these risks, employers can reduce the likelihood of accidents and injuries.
  3. Improve return-to-work programs: Establishing well-designed return-to-work programs allows injured employees to return to productive work as soon as possible. This can involve providing modified duties or accommodations during the recovery process. Prompt return-to-work programs help minimize the duration of claims and associated costs.
  4. Promote employee wellness: Encouraging employee wellness initiatives, such as fitness programs, ergonomic assessments, mental health support, and regular health check-ups, can contribute to reducing workplace injuries and improving overall employee well-being.
  5. Maintain accurate payroll records: Ensuring accurate reporting of payroll information to the WCB is crucial. Employers should classify workers correctly, keeping in mind different employment categories, as this can impact premium rates.
  6. Participate in WCB sponsored programs: Obtaining and maintaining a Certificate of Recognition (COR), joining the Partnership in Injury Reduction (PIR) and signing up for the Occupation Injury Service (OIS) can all contribute to premium rate reductions.
  7. Develop an effective claims management system: Implementing a robust system to manage and monitor workers’ compensation claims can help control costs. This includes promptly reporting injuries, managing claims efficiently, and working closely with WCB case managers to facilitate timely and appropriate treatment for injured workers.
  8. Investigate incidents and learn from them: Conducting thorough investigations of workplace incidents or accidents helps identify root causes and implement corrective measures to prevent similar occurrences in the future. Learning from past incidents can help improve workplace safety practices.
  9. Engage with WCB resources: Alberta employers can access resources provided by the WCB, such as safety training programs, online tools, and industry-specific guidelines. Engaging with these resources can enhance employers’ understanding of safety requirements and best practices.
  10. Consider hiring an Employer Representative: Consulting firms with expertise in all matters pertaining to workers’ compensation, such as BCL Consulting Group, can identify and address issues that can help reduce or contain costs. Consultants can provide valuable assistance with current claims from start to finish, help navigate difficult claims, review historical claims cost for accuracy and handle appeals at all levels of the WCB.

Although the results may not be seen immediately, the long term impact of implementing these strategies can lead to lower WCB premiums and keep them there.


Next in this series -> Implementing an Effective Safety Program: A Smart Strategy to Reduce WCB Premiums


Can’t wait for the next installment? Curious about what you’re doing right or what else you could be doing now? You can check out our previous blog post on How to Reduce the Cost of WCB Premiums or you can connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Linkedin, reach us via email at [email protected], [email protected], and you can always contact us directly, during business hours, using our chat feature or by telephone at 1-844-377-9545.

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