2,000 Yukon businesses to pay lower workers' compensation rates

The Yukon Workers' Compensation Health and Safety Board has announced its 2015 assessments Thursday, which says 2,000 businesses in the territory will see their workers' compensation rates go down by four per cent.

1,000 business will have steady rates, while 500 will see them go up

More than 2,000 Yukon businesses will pay lower workers' compensation premiums next year, and the biggest decreases are for construction and trades such as plumbing and welding, as well as placer mining and short-haul trucking. (Brian Boyle/CBC)

More than 2,000 Yukon businesses will pay lower workers' compensation premiums next year.

The Yukon Workers' Compensation Health and Safety Board announced its 2015 assessments Thursday.

The rates are based on the number of workplace injuries that happened in previous years.

There are areas that could be doing better there's no doubt, and so it's our job to work with them to improve.- Joy Waters, Yukon workers' compensation board president

The 2,000 businesses will pay around four per cent less, while 1,000 other businesses will see their rates hold steady. 

The biggest decreases are for resource industries, such as placer mining, short-haul trucking, as well as construction, and trades such as plumbing and welding.

Kurt Dieckmann, who is with the workers' compensation board, says the lower rates are a reflection of safer work practices

"You don't go into Tim Hortons without seeing half a dozen people sitting around wearing their safety gear during their coffee breaks," Dieckmann said.

Not all good news

More than 500 businesses will see their rates go up. The hardest hit are in service industries such as janitorial, recycling and animal control.

Joy Waters, the board's president, says while the cost of injury claims is declining there have been more than 1,300 workplace injuries this year including five deaths.

"There are areas that could be doing better there's no doubt, and so it's our job to work with them to improve."

To achieve that, the board says it plans to step up workplace inspections.