OHS Canada Magazine

Workplace injuries in Nova Scotia drop to lowest level on record: WCB data

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December 1, 2023
By OHS Canada

Workers Compensation nova scotia wcb

Photo: Kokliang1981/Adobe Stock

Fewer workers are getting hurt on the job than ever before in Nova Scotia, according to the province’s workers’ compensation board.

New statistics from WCB Nova Scotia’s most recent community report tabled in the fall sitting show that the rate of workplace injury dropped to an all-time low in the second quarter of 2023, improving to 1.36 per 100 covered workers, down from 1.41 in the first quarter of the year.

“These figures are encouraging and show that efforts across this province to strengthen workplace safety are moving in the right direction,” said WCB CEO Karen Adams. But there is plenty of work still to be done, she added.

“Workplace injury prevention and supporting workers and employers in safe, healthy returns to work are fundamental to what we do, and so important for all of us.”

The WCB’s financial position continues to improve as well, it said in a press release. Strengthening finance results – with 94.5 per cent of the assets needed to pay liabilities owed into the future – are the foundation for continued progress in the system, all grounded in reducing workplace injury’s impact on workers, their families, and employers, it said.


Accreditation program

Starting next year, the WCB’s Safety Certified Program will formalize the role of return to work as a part of their accreditation criteria.

These initiatives will build on the success of the WCB’s return to work measures – the number of days paid for worker benefits declined by almost 20,000 days in the second quarter of 2023 compared to the previous quarter, it said.

Adams said the WCB looks forward to hearing from Nova Scotians during the ongoing review led by government, and that preparations to serve workers and employers under updated legislation to make gradual onset stress compensable are “well underway.”

“This is an optimistic time for the WCB,” said Adams. “We are increasingly financially stable, and we’re making the right changes to serve our province into the future, providing more and better protection from the impact of workplace injury, all driven by the exceptional service workers and employers deserve.”

Other highlights

  • Nova Scotia’s workplace injury rate dropped to 1.36 per 100 covered workers at the end of 2023’s second quarter. The injury rate was 1.62 in the second quarter a year ago.
  • The average number of time loss days paid per 100 workers decreased from 292 at the end of 2022, to 263 at the end of 2023’s second quarter
  • The funded percentage has improved to 94.5 per cent, compared to 92.9 per cent at December 31, 2022. Under the new accounting standard (IFRS 17) the funded percentage was 92.4 per cent.
  • The WCB’s new Approved Rate Range provides “clearer, transparent parameters to employers on when rate changes might be needed, and when benefit changes may be recommended to government,” it said.

The Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia provides workplace injury insurance for more than 20,000 employers representing about 350,000 workers across the province.


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