Good performers pay less; bad performers pay more

    WCB-Alberta lowers average premium rate to $1.32 while increasing
    penalties for poor performance

    EDMONTON, Nov. 14 /CNW/ - Alberta employers pay the lowest WCB premiums
in the country thanks to their focus on safety and their support for employees
hurt on the job. The new average premium rate, reduced by nearly eight per
cent for 2008, reflects stable lost-time claim volumes, slightly lower
disabling injury rates(1), and lower claim costs(2).
    "Success in safety and disability management is making a remarkable
difference in the workers' compensation system," says Guy Kerr, president and
CEO of WCB-Alberta. "Despite significant growth in our economy and work force,
claim volumes and costs are stable."
    Overall, 85 per cent of Alberta employers will see a drop in their
industry premium rate. "Great performance reflects great effort," Kerr adds.
"Busy Alberta workplaces require our unwavering focus on safety. Working
together, we are making a difference."
    Kerr also adds a word of warning for those employers whose chronic
inattention to their poor safety and disability management performance is not
acceptable: "No business is worth hurting people." In fact, premium surcharges
for employers with poor records will jump from 40 per cent to 100 per cent in
2008, and again to 200 per cent in 2009. "Premium rates hold employers
accountable for their performance."
    As part of his 2008 premium rate announcement, Kerr emphasizes that
Alberta's economic strength helped the organization maintain a sound financial
position, ensuring long-term stability for the workers' compensation system.

    The Workers' Compensation Board (WCB) - Alberta is a not-for-profit
organization legislated to administer the workers' compensation system for the
province. Through the payment of premiums, 127,000 employers fund this
no-fault system to provide compensation for workplace injuries and
occupational diseases to over 1.65 million workers.

    (1) Disabling injury rates reflect lost-time claims and modified work
    (2) Transaction year claim costs include all costs paid this year for
        claims registered this year and all previous years.

For further information:

For further information: Media inquiries: Jennifer Dagsvik, (780)

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