Workers Compensation System In NB Could Be 'At Risk Of Collapsing'

Posted on Friday, April 21, 2017 14:33 PM

The vice-president of the New Brunswick division for Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters contends the workers compensation system in New Brunswick is 'at risk of collapsing' if Worksafe NB and the province don't get costs under control.

Joel Richardson attended this week's WorkSafe NB stakeholder meeting in Fredericton and tells us this year compensation rates went up an average of 33 percent and it's projected they'll go up even more next year.

He also points to an approximately 46 percent spike in the average monthly case load for employee claims since 2015 from 1300 to 1900.

"Accidents in the workplace really have not gone up that significantly. What's gone up is that the appeals tribunal is adding and increasing more and more benefits and those cost a lot of money," says Richardson.

"There's a lot of work to be done to try and get the number of claims and payments under control in order to make sure the system is sustainable over the long term."

Richardson says it was obvious from everyone in the room at the meeting that WorkSafe NB hadn't provided enough information. He says there was very little data provided as to why the claims have increased and why they're seeing more cases.

"WorkSafe has committed essentially to putting that information together and sharing that with all the stakeholders. We really need to have more full disclosure from WorkSafe on the details of what's behind the claims that are being made all across the province and the major increase in the claims."