Workplace injury’s impact reduced in Q2 as Nova Scotians returned to work sooner (Nov. 26/21)

As outlined in our latest Report to the Community, WCB Nova Scotia continued to support workers and employers through the second quarter of 2021, beginning to deliver on new Strategic Priorities, with a significant focus on return to work, and better safety outcomes in long-term care and home care.

There were signs of progress. After months of trending upward, the time lost from work in the province due to workplace injury is beginning to show signs of decrease. 

A new measure – the percentage of claims that achieve return to work after six months – is trending in the right direction. While the number reflects the reality as of the end of December, due to statistical lag time, it’s up by nearly a full percentage point since June.

On the prevention side, while claim volume is up slightly overall as the province began to re-open and more people returned to the workplace, there were encouraging declines in time-loss injury in long-term care and home care.

These two sectors are also a major focus of our new Strategic Priorities, and reflect the tireless efforts of health-care workers and leadership across the province.

Dennita Fitzpatrick, WCB’s Vice President of Prevention and Return to Work, says she is encouraged by the new numbers but stresses the need for continued effort.

She notes that the pandemic and the significant increases in psychological injury have both had impact on the time lost from work in Nova Scotia, but we’re beginning to see signs of progress.

“These are early days in our journey,” Dennita says. “We’ve made a lot of interesting changes in the way we manage claims, leveraging health services in new ways, beginning to rethink vocational rehabilitation – and there’s more to come. But success, over the long term, will only come from continued commitment of not only our own people, but the workers and employers that we serve.”

The WCB’s financial position remains strong as of June 30, 2021. Our funded percentage is 104.2 per cent compared to 102.9 per cent at December 31, 2020.

“There has been so much change in this province, and in the world,” says WCB Chief Executive Officer Stuart MacLean. “Workplace injury is changing – and so are the ways we support workers and employers in reducing its impact.”

“As we look forward from a place of financial stability, and as we establish new partnerships, I am motivated by the opportunities ahead, as we continue to work together to make Nova Scotia a stronger, safer place to live and work.”

Read more on these and other operational highlights from Q2 in the full report and sign up for our email list to receive notifications when our quarterly reports are available.