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Safety Matters Award presented at the WCB Annual Public Meeting - July 12, 2016
The Workers Compensation Board (WCB) is pleased to announce that Julia Richardson is the recipient of this year's Safety Matters Award, recognizing a graduating high school student for occupational health and safety (OHS) excellence at school or in the workplace. The award was presented to the Bluefield High School student at the WCB Annual Public Meeting held on June 27, 2016.
"One way to build a safety culture is to focus on the future of Island workplaces," said Stuart Affleck, Chair for the Workers Compensation Board. "The WCB places great importance on fostering young safety champions because they are our next generation of workers and employers and they have the power to impact the future."
This year's winner was a passionate, knowledgeable, all-around great student, and a great role model for her colleagues. While working at the Bedeque Bay Environmental Management Association, a non-profit watershed group, she constantly applied workplace safety standards to ensure her own well-being, and that of her colleagues. Her employer describes her as someone who was eager to learn, often volunteering for additional training. Julia never hesitated to ask questions or raise concerns about work conditions that she thought had the potential to cause injury to her or her coworkers. In addition to applying OHS principles in her place of employment, Julia also used these in her volunteer activities at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and the Humane Society. Julia is in the final stages of completing the Gold level of the Duke of Edinburgh Program.
"We applaud Julia and the many other students who take an interest in health and safety in the workplace," said Luanne Gallant, CEO for the Workers Compensation Board. "Any effort to educate and engage others in discussions around safety will help benefit everyone."
For more information about educating young workers about workplace safety, visit the Workers Compensation Board website or contact the WCB office at 902-368-5680 or 1-800-237-5049.
Safety Matters Award winner Julia Richardson (centre) with Workers Compensation Board Chair Stuart Affleck (left) and Chief Executive Officer Luanne Gallant (right).
CEO Appointed to the Workers Compensation Board of PEI - June 01, 2016
Luanne Gallant has been appointed to a 3 year term as CEO of the Workers Compensation Board effective immediately.
Luanne Gallant joined the Workers Compensation Board (WCB) of Prince Edward Island in 2012. Since then she has held a number of roles including Manager of Human Resources, Director of Human Resources, Corporate and Support Services, as well as her current role as Acting CEO since July 2015. In this role, Luanne continues to lead the WCB in its Prevention and Safety initiatives and by supporting injured workers.
“I have known and worked with Luanne since I came to the board,” said Stuart Affleck, Chair of the Workers Compensation Board. “I find her extremely approachable and since becoming chair, have seen her as a person who is dedicated to improving organizational outcomes.”
Biography: Luanne is well versed in the Corporate and Human Resources world. She is also trained and experienced in management; labor relations; performance management; policy & planning; recruitment and retention; communication; conflict resolution; strategic planning, organizational development and change management.
Luanne's career features over 30 years in a number of roles in various departments in the public sector. She has been a lead Human Resource advisor in workplace initiatives specializing in realignments, transformation, diversity and Health and Safety. Luanne has coordinated Health and Safety programs and plans and was identified as a leader at ensuring these programs were in place in one of the larger multi-site government departments.
Video Contest Winner Announced - May 30, 2016
Three talented Kinkora High School students have won the Focus on Safety contest, the Prince Edward Island High School Video Contest for 2016. The video contest is a way to encourage young workers to think about their rights and responsibilities in the workplace. The contest challenges students to create a video about the importance of safety on the job.
Grade 12 students Chandler Dawson, Tate McAvinn and J.P. O'Connor created the winning video, "Prevent it", a peek at one disastrous moment in the life of a food service worker, outlining the importance of workplace safety in the food industry. The video contest provided the students a real audience for their work, and additional motivation to achieve a professional product within the context of the course. “The video contest requirements touch many of the learning goals of the film unit of the Creative Multimedia course,” said Norah Pendergast, the boys’ teacher. “It was very exciting to develop the video from conceptual story boards to professional results using the new film editing software recently purchased by the English Language School Board." The boys will share a $1,000 prize and $1,000 for their school, and their winning submission was sent on to the national competition.
On behalf of the Board, the Workers Compensation Board congratulates the students and their teacher on their efforts to promote workplace safety for the next generation of workers and employers.
This video contest is part of a national initiative of Labour ministers from across Canada, to promote safety and rights for young workers. The Prince Edward Island contest is sponsored by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) in partnership with the Workers Compensation Board.
(L-R) Kinkora High School students Chandler Dawson, Tate McAvinn and J.P. O'Connor receive their cheques, accompanied by their teacher Norah Pendergast
Changes Coming to Cost of Claims Information - May 03, 2016
Effective May 31, 2016 employers will see some changes to the information that is presented on their monthly statement related to the cost of claims. Detailed transaction cost information will no longer be indicated. A monthly total for each worker claim will continue to be reported as well as total costs for the period. If you require additional information on a particular claim, please contact Worker Services and your Case Worker will assist you.
Partnering to prevent brain injuries - April 08, 2016
The Workers Compensation Board is pleased to collaborate with the Brain Injury Association of Prince Edward Island to improve workplace safety.
"We continue to look for opportunities to work with our partners to promote safety and prevent future accidents," said Stuart Affleck, Chair of the Workers Compensation Board of PEI. "We know that by working together, we can make a greater impact."
"It is important to monitor the prevalence and impact of workplace injuries related to concussion and minor traumatic brain injuries," said Luanne Gallant, Acting Chief Executive Officer for the Workers Compensation Board. "While the number of claims related to these injuries is not significantly high, they can have a higher duration with symptoms lasting longer than other injuries."
160,000 Canadians sustain brain injuries each year. Incidence (and reporting rates) are rising. Over a million Canadians live with the effects of an acquired brain injury. Brain injury is defined as a non-degenerative and non-congenital insult to the brain that may result in a diminished or altered state of consciousness, and result in impaired cognitive, physical, emotional and/or behavioural functioning.
"We are happy to be partnering with the Workers Compensation Board on raising awareness of brain injuries through this poster campaign," said Kenneth Murnaghan, Director of the PEI Brain Injury Association of PEI. "It is important to remember that concussions happen often, including the workplace."
Workers and employers should be aware of potential hazards that could cause head injuries, including those that are not always obvious. Simple steps like wearing protective headgear, applying anti-slip strips to stair treads and salting walkways and parking lots could help avoid slips, trips and falls.
The WCB is an independent, non-profit organization funded solely through premiums paid by Island employers. It provides no-fault workplace injury and illness insurance and promotes workplace health and safety for all Islanders.
Workers Compensation Board Releases New Strategic Plan - March 15, 2016
The WCB is pleased to announce the release of their 2016 – 2018 Strategic Plan. The plan was built upon a foundation of research, consultation and partnership with stakeholders to better meet the safety and compensation needs of Island workplaces.
“The Board would like to thank everyone who contributed to the development of our plan,” said Stuart Affleck, WCB Board Chair. “Our ultimate goal is to ensure that all workplaces are safe, workplace injuries are eliminated and each client experience is one of excellence. Guided by this plan, we will make safety a priority in all workplaces and reduce the impact of workplace injury through safe and timely return to work efforts.”
The 2016-2018 Strategic Plan is based on the WCB’s renewed mission, vision and values, and focuses on six strategic themes:
- Enhancing PEI’s Workplace Safety Culture
- Improving Return to Work Outcomes
- Ensuring Financial Sustainability
- Strengthening Engagement and Partnerships
- Providing Continued Service Excellence
- Investing in Our Organization
“Our Strategic Plan provides the direction for our priorities and maps the future course for our organization and the work we do on behalf of our stakeholders,” said Luanne Gallant, Acting CEO for the Workers Compensation Board. “Our environment is always changing and we believe that our Strategic Plan must be proactive and informed, and provide a clear picture of emerging trends in the workplace.”
The full version of the Strategic Plan is available on the WCB website at http://www.wcb.pe.ca/Information/CorporatePlans.
Employers report all-time high satisfaction with Workers Compensation Board - March 10, 2016
The results of the 2015 Employer Survey are in and the Workers Compensation Board (WCB) is pleased to report that this year’s survey shows another all-time high (80.9%) in its service satisfaction index. The index is a composite measure of employers’ satisfaction with a variety of service dimensions, including effectiveness, fairness and service delivery.
In the fall of 2015, over 500 Island employers participated in the survey conducted by the independent research company, Corporate Research Associates. On an alternating biannual basis, the WCB polls its two key stakeholder groups, injured workers and employers, to gauge satisfaction with the WCB’s services and to identify areas for improvement.
Recent WCB service improvements for Island employers include the following:
- Provided additional resources in the case management area to improve claims management processes and return to work outcomes.
- Expansion and increased use of online services for those who prefer the convenience of conducting WCB business electronically.
- Annual monitoring of the WCB’s employer classification to ensure the system remains fair and relevant to Island workplaces.
- A decade-long downward trend in rates for employers.
Based on the survey results, 83% of employers surveyed, believe the WCB is effective in providing service, which is up from 74 % in 2013. The vast majority of employers (86%) agree that the WCB is fair to PEI employers, up slightly from 2013 (85%). The 2015 results also show that the majority of our clients agree that the WCB communicates effectively, with 94 % of employers agreeing that the WCB does a good job of keeping them informed, a 7 % increase from 87% in the previous survey in 2013.
"Our goal is to provide the best service possible to our stakeholders and the feedback we receive from employers and workers is a vital part of this process," said WCB Chair Stuart Affleck. "The survey continues to help us monitor our strengths and to identify areas where we could enhance our service delivery."
For more information, including a summary report of the 2015 WCB Employers Survey, please visit http://www.wcb.pe.ca/DocumentManagement/Document/pub_2015employerstudy.pdf.
Safety Matters with the Construction Association of PEI - March 07, 2016
The Construction Association of PEI recognizes that safety is an important part of doing business. So much so, that each year the association honours employers with an award for their safety performance. The awards are presented to the companies with the lowest ratio of accident days lost compared to their payroll.
The winners of the 2015 Construction Association of PEI Safety Awards, announced at the annual AGM on March 4th were:
- Southern Kings Construction
- Stantec Consulting (Medium
- Arsenault Bros. Construction
- Stantec Consulting
The WCB would like to congratulate the winners and commend the PEI Construction Association for continuing to take the initiative to promote a culture of workplace safety on Prince Edward Island.
Atlantic Roofers Ltd
Southern Kings Construction
Arsenault Bros. Construction
Workers Compensation Board coverage will now include Island farms - February 19, 2016
The Workers Compensation Board (WCB) of Prince Edward Island is taking steps to provide workers compensation coverage to workers on Island farms.
“As a long-time farmer, I understand the concerns and reservations that the industry might have about mandatory coverage,” said Stuart Affleck, Chair of the Workers Compensation Board. “I was pleased to be part of the panel discussions and consultation with the farming industry. It was important to meet with various boards, employers and workers and to hear their thoughts; clarify some misperceptions; and to receive valuable feedback from the farming sector on how we could help them through this transition.”
In 2012, a legislative Review Advisory Committee was appointed to review the Workers Compensation Act. One of the recommendations from the report advised the WCB and Government to consult with the farming industry to discuss their inclusion under the workers compensation system. This would ensure that the farming industry would have similar protection to other workers in the province.
The Board took the following year and a half to consult with the farming industry to discuss the transition from optional to mandatory coverage under the Workers Compensation Act. As part of the consultation process, a 5 person panel, which included representatives from the WCB and the agricultural sector, was created. The panel held consultations across the province with vital stakeholder groups to provide information, answer questions, and listen to opinions.
“Previously, farming employers on Prince Edward Island were not required to have Workers Compensation coverage; it was available on a voluntary basis,” said Luanne Gallant, Acting CEO of the Prince Edward Island Workers Compensation Board.“ This meant that farm workers were not afforded the same protection as workers in other Island industries.
Farm workers are at high risk of experiencing workplace injuries. While good data on agricultural injuries is difficult to find, Canada’s agricultural industry has among the highest fatality rates of any Canadian occupation. In the absence of mandatory coverage, costs related to workplace injuries are shifted from the employers onto farm workers and their families who must cope with wage loss and medical expenses. The impact of excluding farm employers from workers compensation can be costly for both the farm worker and the farm employer.
The WCB exists to protect workers and employers through a sustainable no-fault injury insurance program. It provides benefits and services to workers following workplace injuries and protection to employers from liability. Farm rates have shown a downward trend since 2011 resulting in lower rates for the majority of farm sectors, with accident costs being the driving factor.
Mandatory coverage for farmers under the Workers Compensation Act will come into effect January 1, 2017. Until then, farm employers are still able to register for optional coverage under the Workers Compensation Act. As requested by farm employers, there will be a comprehensive information and education process which will be delivered during the transition period, in advance of the implementation date.
Video contest encourages students to learn more about workplace safety - February 10, 2016
The Workers Compensation Board (WCB) has launched its annual high school video contest. This year’s theme is Focus on Safety and high school students are encouraged to produce a two-minute video on workplace safety for a chance to win $1,000 and another $1,000 for their school.
"Workplace safety habits and practice begins at a young age and it’s important to educate our next generation of Island workers and employers before they enter the workforce," said WCB Chair Stuart Affleck. "This contest allows students an opportunity to be the teacher and to become ambassadors for safety in the workplace."
The video contest is part of a nation-wide initiative of the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS). The Prince Edward Island winner will be automatically entered in the national contest in the spring.
Video submissions will be accepted until April 1, 2016. For more information, including rules and contest entry forms, visit the WCB website at www.wcb.pe.ca/workplace/contest.
Grade 12 Kinkora High School students Haylee Anderson and Laura Johnston, help promote this year’s Video Contest as part of their Occupational Health and Safety Leadership Program.
Register now for the WCB Workplace Health & Safety Conference - February 03, 2016
Registration is now open for the 2016 Workers Compensation Board (WCB) Workplace Health and Safety conference.
“WCB is proud to host this important event as it continues to be an excellent opportunity to come together as safety professionals, employers and workers alike,” said Stuart Affleck, WCB Board Chair. “Too often we get busy in our day-to-day work and we lose sight of safety practices. It’s important to remind ourselves that safety must be at the forefront of all our decisions.”
This year’s conference is being held in Charlottetown on Thursday, May 5th as part of North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) Week. The theme for this year’s conference is “It Takes a Team…” and delegates are able to customize their learning experience by selecting from a wide variety of workshops relevant to today’s employers, managers, supervisors and workers. Topics include changes to WHMIS, improving mental health in the workplace, an employer’s guide to return to work programs and a compelling story of how a young worker’s life was changed after a workplace accident. The conference also features a trade show of products and services from Canada’s health and safety community.
The key note speaker is Prince Edward Island’s own Olympic Gold Medalist Heather Moyse. Three-time Olympian, Heather Moyse, is a multi-sport athlete and highly respected motivational speaker. She’s competed internationally in track cycling, rugby and bobsleigh, in which she and her teammate Kaillie Humphries won gold medals at the Vancouver and Sochi Winter Olympic Games.
Having overcome multiple, career-threatening injuries, Heather uses her personal experience – and professional training as an occupational therapist – to encourage and inspire others to embrace challenges and face adversity head-on, believe in the possibilities of achieving their dreams, and to step outside of their comfort zones in order to discover and maximize their potential, whether in sport, business, or life. A lifelong humanitarian, Heather donates her time and talent to many community events and national charities, earning her the Order of PEI, the Queen’s Jubilee Medal, and the Randy Starkman Olympian Humanitarian Award.
With a registration fee of only $125 per person, spaces are limited. To register, visit the WCB website at www.wcb.pe.ca or call 902-368-5680 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
WCB PEI recognized as one of Atlantic Canada’s Top Employers - January 08, 2016
The Workers Compensation Board (WCB) of Prince Edward Island has been selected as one of Atlantic Canada’s Top 25 Employers for 2016 – a special designation recognizing employers in Atlantic Canada that lead their industries in offering exceptional places to work.
“Being included in the Atlantic Canada Top Employer list is a great accomplishment and honour – one of which we are very proud,” says Luanne Gallant, Acting CEO for the Workers Compensation Board of Prince Edward Island. “Our staff are our most valuable resource and we believe that by offering an environment where they would like to work, we will have happier, more engaged employees.”
As one of only two Prince Edward Island employers to receive this distinction, the WCB was included among a list featured in the Atlantic Business Magazine on January 6, 2016. In Atlantic Canada, over 350 employers participated in the competition.
Employers are evaluated by the editors of Canada’s Top 100 Employers competition using eight criteria: physical workplace; work atmosphere and social; health, financial and family benefits; vacation and time off; employee communications; performance management; training and skills development; and, community involvement. Employers are compared to other organizations in their field and region to determine which offers the most progressive and forward-thinking programs.
“Over the past two years, we have achieved the highest satisfaction scores in the history of the company among injured workers and employers,” said Stuart Affleck, WCB Board Chair. “This is the best indication that we have created a culture in which people practice collaboration, innovation and shared leadership and that our staff are well equipped to adapt to meet the needs of the people we serve. The WCB staff are continuously reflecting strategically on current programs, policies and procedures to provide improved service delivery.”
To see the full list of Atlantic Canada’s Top 25 Employers visit: http://www.atlanticbusinessmagazine.net/.
Teach your kids how to work safely - November 03, 2015
This Wednesday, November 4th, is Take Your Kids to Work Day for grade nine students. The Workers Compensation Board (WCB) reminds Islanders that it is an ideal time to teach their children about workplace safety.
“Knowledge about workplace safety is an essential part of every job,” said Stuart Affleck, Workers Compensation Board Chair. “Teaching our children safe work practices now will enable them to develop skills that can protect them throughout their working lives.”
The WCB recommends that Islanders participating in Take Your Kids to Work Day discuss the importance of speaking up for safety with their visiting grade nine students. Every worker has the following important workplace safety rights:
- The right to know about any potential hazards on the job and how to stay safe at work.
- The right to participate in decision making about workplace safety, and in resolving safety issues at work.
- The right to refuse unsafe work.
For more information about workplace safety for youth, visit the Young Workers section of the WCB website at www.wcb.pe.ca/Workplace/YoungWorkers or contact the WCB Youth Education Consultant, Clare Waddell at 368-6357 or 1-800-237-5049.
Laura Steeves, Senior Communications Coordinator
902-894-0362 or email@example.com
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