Message from the CEO
In many ways, 2018 was a positive year.
But in the most important way of all, it was not.
Forty Nova Scotians lost their lives at work, or because of work, this year. That is nearly double the year before, and the highest since we began tracking fatalities the way we do today.
These are not numbers — these are people needlessly lost forever. And they are the reason we are more motivated than ever to reduce the impact of workplace injury in our province.
The report you are reading will tell you how we are going to make that happen.
Right now, WCB Nova Scotia is in the midst of the largest business transformation in our history. Five years ago, our strategic plan outlined the need for change and investment. This year, after research and preparation, we are implementing new systems that will result in improved service to workers and employers, and will lead, in time, to better outcomes.
While the tragic losses of 2018 give us serious pause, there was also progress. Our injury rate continued its long-term downward trend. And, in a challenging year on the markets, our investments performed above industry benchmarks, keeping us on track toward long-term financial sustainability.
Overall, the average claim today is more complex than ever — as is our overall environment. We saw more claims for psychological injuries and PTSD this year. The addition of a presumptive clause to our legislation was an important improvement in ensuring these workers get the support they need.
Our teams worked closely with the Auditor General’s office in 2018. I am pleased to say the audit found us to be a well-governed organization that is fulfilling our core mandate effectively and is on a path to sustainability. The audit also pointed out important opportunities for improvement. We accept the findings and are already working to implement them.
We have a visionary Board of Directors that understands real change takes investment, vision, and a long-term view. Our partners in government share our view that the future can and must be different – a principle, in fact, that is shared across our stakeholder community.
Most of all, 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 did this year.
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