September 2019                                                fran├žais | Inuktitut
Deadline: PAYROLL Estimate REvision
Submit by November 30, 2019

The deadline is fast approaching for your 2019 payroll estimates. The WSCC has mailed a letter to all Nunavut and Northwest Territories employers with a reminder about payroll revision information.

To avoid penalties, you must report significant changes (25% or greater) in your payroll estimate by November 30th, 2019. Report any changes by clicking Report Payroll on WSCC Connect. 

A helpful guide can be found on WSCC Connect. If you have any questions on revising your payroll, contact Employer Services in the Northwest Territories at 1-800-661-0792 and in Nunavut at 1-877-404-4407.
Assessment Rates 101
SUSTAINING  the Workers' Protection Fund

Approximately 4000 employers in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut are protected by the worker's compensation system. This is a form of collective liability, common across the insurance industry, that protects individual employers against lawsuits related to workplace injuries and against major increases in their assessment rates in the event that they experience an extraordinary increase in claims.

The assessment rates employers pay are pooled into a fund called 'the Workers' Protection Fund'. This fund is used to pay benefits and provide services to workers who are injured at work and to support the WSCC's prevention activities.  Each year's assessment rates must generate enough revenue to cover all current and future costs associated with workplace injuries occurring in the assessment year, including health care, rehabilitation and wage replacement benefits. 

As the stewards of this fund, the WSCC's Governance Council evaluates and updates rates annually to provide coverage of current and future claims costs, ensure stable assessment rates for employers and to ultimately, sustain the Workers' Protection Fund for the future.

Higher claims costs and poor investment returns means that employers can expect to see an increase in the average provisional assessment rate in 2020. This provisional target rate is the rate employers would pay if there was only one rate for all employers, and is the rate the WSCC uses as a starting point when setting individual subclass rates.  As an employer, you pay a specific amount based on your industry, and the size of your annual payroll.

Each year in November, all employers are notified of their individual rates and any changes to the classification structure for the upcoming year. This information will be included in the 2020 Annual Payroll Reporting package that registered employers will receive by mail and available online.

You can view the WSCC's current and historical rates by visiting WSCC Connect. You can view your individual assessment rates by signing in or creating an account on WSCC Connect and clicking on 'My Assessment Rates.'

How you can impact rates - Employer Safety performance matters

For the compensation system to run efficiently, it is important that you, as an employer:
  • Establish your coverage as legislated by the Workers Compensation Act.
  • Maintain your registration.
  • Make timely payments based on your assessment rate.
Assessment rates are a reflection of the safety and return-to-work performance of an industry and the employers within it. Just like other insurance, industries that focus on worker safety and reduce injuries will have lower assessment rates. Industries that see their claims costs increase will see their rates increase as a result.

The WSCC wants to help your business improve your safety performance. No matter how big or small your business is or the type of work you do, you must provide and maintain a safe workplace and all workers must know and understand the OHS responsibilities that apply to their work. Our tools, resources, and safety inspectors are here to support your business in creating and maintaining a strong safety program and ensuring you comply with Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) legislation. If you're not sure where to start you can review our OHS Program Guide, Contact Us  or invite the WSCC to your worksite for a Toolbox Safety Talk on a topic of your choosing.
Hazard reporting systems
Essential for every safety Program

A hazard is anything with the potential to cause harm if not appropriately eliminated or controlled. All workplaces have hazards. As an employer, you have legislated requirements to train your employees how to identify and control workplace hazards. This must involve training your employees on any hazards that exist in your workplace, as well as supporting them with a system for hazard identification and reporting.

No matter what your working environment looks like, you will find hazards that fall into 6 categories:  
  • Safety hazards: missing or inappropriate guards for machinery, horseplay, unsafe practices or conditions, working at heights, failure to follow required procedures, worn out or damaged equipment or PPE;
  • Physical hazards: vibration, noise, cold, heat, electricity, radiation;
  • Chemical hazards: solids, liquids or gases; waste by-products such as vapours, smoke or emulsion; all hazardous products should be in labeled containers; and, readily available Safety Data Sheets (SDSs);
  • Biological hazards: Blood, bacteria, fungi, animal waste or remains, bug bites, plants;
  • Ergonomic hazards: bad posture, excessive application of force, frequent material handling;
  • Psychosocial hazards: Bullying, violence and harassment, lack of control/ input, heavy production demands.
Employer Duties

As an employer, you must ensure that there is a system for identifying and controlling hazards. This should be part of your Occupational Health and Safety Programs (OHS Programs) and include the following elements:
  1. A frequent and regular process of job hazard assessment.
  2. A process of analyzing hazards, which should ask: what can go wrong? How could it happen? What are contributing factors? How likely is it that the hazard will occur? What are the potential consequences? What action will we take to minimize the risk?
    • We recommend utilizing standard forms to prompt employees in thoroughly answering these questions. Find examples of hazard assessment forms on our Templates page.
  3. A system for eliminating or controlling hazards.
  4. Regular evaluation of hazard controls to ensure that they are effective in minimizing the hazard.
Worker Duties

When training your employees, summarize your four step hazard identification system by instructing workers to "See it. Think it. Do it." Remind your employees that they must take an active role in workplace safety. If they see a hazard, whether it is a pen on the floor that could cause someone to slip and fall, or an exposed electrical wire, it is their duty to safely and promptly take action to control or eliminate the hazard, and to report it. The responsibility of maintaining a safe workplace is in all of our hands.

Available WSCC resources for your Business
  • Our Occupational Health and Safety Program Guide for Small Businesses has a section on hazard identification, which includes template forms for assessment and reporting.
  • Our Code of Practice on Hazard Assessment outlines everything your business must do in order to ensure you are compliant with health and safety legislation.
  • Hazard Alerts are published based on incidents that occur in the North. These alerts outline the source of danger, and explain how to eliminate or control them. These sheets identify relevant concerns to our northern workplaces.

WSCC's offices are closed for Thanksgiving on Monday, October 14, and will reopen on Tuesday, October 15 at 8:30 AM.

To report a serious workplace injury or incident, call 1-800-661-0792.

To report unsafe work, use our Report Unsafe Work service on WSCC Connect.   /  1.800.661.0792   *  /  1.877.404.4407