Message from the Chief Executive Officer
In 2018, the modernization of our claims and assessment systems touched everyone in this organization – incredible work, done by incredible people.
But what’s important to remember in all of it is not the technology itself.
What’s important to remember is why we’re doing it.
We’re modernizing for the people who get hurt on the job, and need us to be there to help them as they recover. The average length of a claim is increasing in Nova Scotia, and we need to do all we can to better support workers as they recover. We have an aging population, and injuries are more likely to be complex, often compounded by mental health conditions. We saw more claims last year for psychological injuries, particularly PTSD in first responders, under new presumptive legislation.
We’re also modernizing for employers, and for the people who work for them. Not only will improved systems make it easier for them to do business with us, but we also know that, over time, our systems will provide better data to support our many prevention initiatives, from social marketing, to joint workplace targeting, to enabling leaders in sectors facing challenges, like health care.
But most of all, we’re modernizing because it’s the right thing to do. We know it will help improve some of the things pointed out to us in the second phase of the Auditor General’s review of our operations, where we have important improvements to make. Of course, it is only technology – the changes will also take leadership across our organization to make them reality.
We play such an important role in this province - to help keep our workforce safe, but also to be there for them when something goes wrong.
In my role, I see the successes of workplace safety, but I also see its failures. From time to time, I sit with those who have lost someone and hear their poignant stories – stories about the coffee they no longer get to enjoy with their son at the end of a shift or about their daughter who doesn’t have her father to walk her down the aisle on her wedding day.
There were 40 new stories like this across our province this year – the most tragic year for our workplaces in some time. Each of them is a story of a life lost, and loved ones impacted forever because something happened at work.
They are the most powerful example of why we need to improve the way we do our work.
And, while the tragic losses of 2018 give us serious pause, there was also progress. Our injury rate continued its long-term downward trend, and our investments performed above industry benchmarks, keeping us on track toward long-term financial sustainability.
Under the guidance and vision of our Board of Directors, I know that this progress will continue, and we will achieve our full potential.
I know this because we have employees and leaders who are working hard, every day, to create a future where workplace injury no longer impacts the lives of Nova Scotians the way it does today.
I am motivated and inspired to lead this organization at this point in our history, as we do our part to bring about that new reality.
CEO, WCB Nova Scotia