Attention: Assignment Editor, Business/Financial
Editor, Media Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor
TORONTO--(Marketwire - Oct. 5, 2007) - "The Report, The Perils of
Experience Rating: Exposed!, shows that employers who have been penalized for
workplace accidents and deaths receive rebates that exceed the cost of the
original fine," said Ontario Federation of Labour President Wayne
The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board has in place a
practice called Experience Rating that effectively adjusts premium rates based
on an individual employers' claims history. In theory this is supposed to
provide an incentive for safety and injury prevention. Also in theory,
employers receive rebates on their premiums for good claims records and are
penalized for poor claims records.
The Report shows that the reality of this practice is just
the opposite. This practice encourages employers to mis-report and under-report
accidents, to force injured workers back to work before they are medically
ready, and to pay workers sick pay rather than have them receive compensation
benefits. Anything goes to keep the employers claims history in good
"Tens of millions of dollars are drained out of the WSIB's
accident fund each year by employers who have learned how to play the game of
experience rating," said Samuelson. "In fact, according to the WSIB's own
figures, rebates have exceeded penalties by more than half a billion dollars in
the last four years alone."
An example from the Report:
* The death of a worker at INCO's Copper Cliff site led to
a fine of $375,000 for failing to provide adequate information and/or
instruction and/or supervision to a worker regarding the operation and/or
testing of valves on the oxygen system.
* The amount of the fine reflects not only INCO's size,
but its terrible record of past convictions for workplace safety offences.
* Yet INCO's experience rating rebate for the Copper Cliff
site alone of $2,424,406 for the corresponding period which financial records
were obtained by the OFL was over six times the amount of the fine.
With the release of the Report the Ontario Federation of
Labour is once again calling for the elimination of the experience rating
programs in Ontario. "This lavish boondoggle for large employers at the expense
of injured workers must end," Samuelson said.
The complete Report is available on the OFL website at
Industrial Accident Victims Group of
/For further information: Wayne Samuelson, OFL
President, 416.571.7408 cellular
Dave Wilken, Industrial Accident Victims
Group of Ontario 416.951.7183 cellular/
IN: FINANCE, JUSTICE,
LABOUR, MEDIA, POLITICS