Message from the CEO
I’ve been part of this organization for more than 30 years – nearly one third of its 100-year history. And in those years, I have never seen the kind of opportunity that I see today.
The basic concepts of workers’ compensation today are as valuable as they were 100 years ago. But the place it holds in our society, and the way we administer it, are very different.
We are on a path of long-term continuous improvement. Since 2005, when we began the bulk of our prevention programming, the number of people hurt on the job has decreased by 30 per cent, and the time lost to that injury has decreased dramatically.
But in 2017 that improvement slowed a little, as we face complex challenges, in complex industries, in complex workplace environments.
The typical time-loss claim is no longer a cut, a bruise, or a broken bone from work in coal, steel, or other heavy industry. It is most likely a soft-tissue injury, caused by lifting or moving another person in the process of caring for them. And, it’s also increasingly likely to not be purely physical – more and more often, there are other factors related to mental health that need to be considered.
We’re changing to address these changing realities, and the expectations of those we serve.
We know we need to do things differently. That’s why, for example, we’ve launched online services, where we’re now serving more than 5,300 workers. We’re changing our core systems from manual processes, to industry-leading technology. And most importantly, we’re evolving our workforce, to have the right people, with the right skills, in the right job.
Why? Because we see a future that's different from the past.
We know that we’re just getting started, when it comes to the role we play in the province that Nova Scotia can be.
We know we can do our part to reduce the impact of injury – by making it easier to do business with us, by being better at what we do, by updating our systems in a fundamental way.
We have confidence in our people, and the people in the workplaces we serve. We know that industries like long-term care, home care, residential construction and others who are at the outset of safety conversations can achieve progress, in the way that other sectors have done.
WCB Nova Scotia has an important role, as our province makes the most of opportunities before it.
Opportunities to be a healthier, working population. Opportunities to prevent workplace injuries, and to better support workers and employers when they do happen. And, opportunities, to reduce the time lost to workplace injury.
Our positive financial performance must continue, as we move closer to eliminating the unfunded liability. We will continue, every day, to help workers and employers prevent injury, and to be there for them when it does occur, supporting a safe and timely return to work. And we will do all of this supported by modern, world-class technology.
As we continue to modernize our organization and prepare our employees to work differently, we know that these efforts and investments, while vital for our success into the future, are having a short-term impact on our ability to meet and exceed all of our performance targets. With significant changes still to come, we do expect continued pressure on our results, but we are also determined to maintain our focus and will strive to continue to fulfill our role in helping to achieve the safety outcomes Nova Scotia needs and expects.
I am proud of what we accomplished in 2017. As we begin our next 100 years, I look forward to all of the opportunities before us.
CEO, WCB Nova Scotia