Continued progress in safety performance by the mining industry in Ontario is resulting in lower Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) premiums for 2007. The WSIB is freezing the average rate for all private sector employers for 2007 and this is leading to an overall 3% reduction in mining sector rates.
The 2007 WSIB rates for the gold mining group are being lowered to $8.27 per $100 of payroll from the 2006 rate of $8.53. Similarly, the nickel mining group rate is being trimmed to $5.31 per $100 of payroll from $5.47. The other mining group rate stays stable in 2007 compared with 2006 at $6.40 per $100 of payroll.
These new rates in the mining categories reflect a lessening of injuries and a reduction in the seriousness of injuries and improvements in processes over the past five years. The cost of injuries is going down and there has also been a downward trend in the number of occupational disease claims made to the WSIB. For 2007, the WSIB is raising the ceiling on benefits from $69,400 to $71,800 annually to adjust for inflation.
According to statistics from the Mines and Aggregates Safety and Health Association (MASHA), the mining industry’s lost time injury rate for 2006 to the end of July stood at 0.8 per 200,000 hours worked, which is the same as it was at the end of July 2005. The mining industry’s total medical aid frequency has improved marginally to 7.5 per 200,000 hours worked at the end of July 2006, compared with 7.7 at the end of July 2005.
Efforts to get these rates to zero are ongoing throughout the industry.
The foregoing is from the newsletter of the ONTARIO MINING ASSOCIATION, which can be found at www.OMA.on.ca.