The Strategic Role of Employer Participation in WCB Sponsored Programs

Posted in: WCB Premium Reduction,Worker's Compensation Board,Workplace Wellness | Posted by braveadmin on December 20, 2023

It’s Not Too Late!

Register in WCB Alberta’s Partnerships in Injury Reduction (PIR) by December 31, 2023 and still be eligible for PIR discounts for 2023 and 2024

In an effort to encourage employers to actively engage in creating safer work environments, Workers’ Compensation Boards (WCBs) often offer programs aimed at reducing occupational injuries and promoting workplace safety. Taking advantage of these programs can be a proactive approach to managing or reducing WCB premiums. Programs may differ in other provinces and jurisdictions but in Alberta, there are three notable initiatives: Partnerships In Injury Reduction (PIR), Certificate of Recognition (COR), and Occupational Injury Service (OIS). 

Partnerships In Injury Reduction (PIR):

PIR is a collaborative initiative between employers, workers, and the WCB. The program encourages the development and implementation of effective health and safety management systems. Employers involved in PIR commit to continuous improvement, employee training, and the establishment of a safety culture within the organization. By actively participating in PIR, employers demonstrate a dedication to reducing workplace injuries and illnesses, which in turn leads to reduced claims and lower associated costs. This commitment is recognized by WCBs through premium reductions, offering a tangible incentive for businesses to invest in a safer workplace. The WCB uses three different performance measures to determine eligibility for refunds and will always use the one that will achieve the greatest refund.

PIR is free and by signing up before December 31st, you may be eligible for PIR discounts for the current year as well.

Certificate of Recognition (COR):

One of the key components of PIR is achieving a COR, which is a widely recognized accreditation that signifies an employer’s commitment to achieving high standards of health and safety. To obtain a COR, employers must undergo a rigorous audit process to ensure compliance with established safety standards and regulations. The certification process includes a thorough assessment of safety programs, hazard assessments, and incident investigations. Employers holding a COR not only enhance their reputation but also enjoy the tangible benefit of premium reductions. WCBs view COR certification as evidence of a proactive approach to workplace safety, resulting in a reduced likelihood of accidents and injury claims.

Although achieving a COR may seem daunting, many employers often discover that they already have many of the required elements in place and that it is not that difficult to meet the established standards. Once a COR is obtained and retained, premium reductions of up to 20% can be realized.

Occupational Injury Service (OIS):

The Occupational Injury Service is designed to provide timely and effective medical services to injured workers. Although the initial visit to an OIS clinic may be more expensive, it puts injured workers in the hands of healthcare professionals who understand the workers’ compensation process and goals. 

Employers participating in OIS work closely with healthcare providers to facilitate the prompt and appropriate treatment of workplace injuries. By ensuring injured workers receive the care they need promptly, employers contribute to faster recovery times and a quicker return to work. This proactive approach not only fosters a positive relationship between employers and injured workers but also reduces the overall costs associated with lengthy disability claims. WCBs recognize and reward such efforts with premium reductions, acknowledging the positive impact on the well-being of employees and the financial health of the workers’ compensation system.

Employers must be registered with OIS prior to a work-related accident in order for an injured worker to access the service. Signing up is voluntary and there are no upfront costs and if you don’t use the service, you don’t pay anything. 

Employers participating in WCB-sponsored programs like PIR, COR, and OIS play a pivotal role in creating safer workplaces and reducing the financial burden associated with workplace injuries. The premium reductions offered by WCBs serve as a tangible incentive for employers to invest in comprehensive safety programs, ultimately fostering a culture of workplace safety that benefits everyone involved.

If you’re interested in more details, you can check out our previous articles on PIR, COR and OIS programs.

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