The City of Cold Lake will use the surplus it received from the Worker’s Compensation Board (WCB) to fund future health and safety initiatives. A surplus of $40, 019.85, from WCB, came to the City after better-than-expected returns on investments and positive operating results in 2014. On the recommendation from City administration, Council felt that the return would best be spent investing in the City’s Safety Program; which includes putting aside funds for new health and safety initiatives.
Mayor of Cold Lake Craig Copeland explains, “it’s recognizing, through the WCB Program, that City employees are working really safely.” The City thought there was no better way to recognize a safe work environment than to invest in it, “we’re going to put the money towards a Health and Wellness program.”
Background via City of Cold Lake
WCB’s targeted funded position is between 114 and 128 per cent. If the funded position falls below 114 there is a request to collect more funds from employers to reestablish the required levels. If the funded position is greater than 128 per cent, as it was in 2014, WCB may distribute the excess to employers through a surplus distribution. WCB does not use surplus to lower premiums in future years because premium rates are always driven by performance. WCB sets the premium to reflect the fully funded cost for the rate setting year in order to ensure that today’s employers pay for the cost of today’s injuries. The City is presently training staff to be auditors in the Safety Program and all staff are preparing for an internal Health and Safety audit followed by an external audit in the Spring of 2016. The surplus would be wisely spent for Health and Safety initiatives and incentives as well as further Safety training for staff.