The Victorian WorkCover Authority attributes the impressive financial results of 2013 and 2014 to the strong and diligent commitment that has been established on considerably improving the workplace safety for both employers and employees alike across the country.
It is worth noting that the number of Victorian workers injured at work has substantially diminished to an outstanding record low, with the figure of injury claims for every million hours worked plummeting to 7.37 in 2013/14, showing a significant improvement of 5 per cent on the previous year.
Also, the return-to-work rates continued to improve all throughout 2013/14, with an outstanding 80% of injured workers quickly getting back to work within six months after being injured and fully recuperating from the incident.
Chief Executive Denise Cosgrove of Victorian WorkCover Authority reported that PFIO or performance from insurance operations was at $483 million, a vivid reflection of the smooth and proper management of the WorkCover program.
Ms. Cosgrove explained that the clearest indicator of the program’s financial status is the performance from insurance operations as it gets rid of external elements including volatility in interest rate fluctuations and global investment returns that could somehow distort the program’s underlying annual performance.
The Victorian WorkCover Authority’s chief executive further emphasised that the Victorian employers’ and workers’ unwavering commitment to workplace health and safety was unquestionably an important factor that largely impacted the impressive financial result. “Workplace injury rates are at new record lows and that is a direct result of employers and employees working together to improve workplace safety,” she said.
Ms. Cosgrove added that Victorians should be proud that they altogether continue to make the region the safest state to work in, in the entire country.
Ms Cosgrove said return-to-work rates were also improving, which was attributed to the number of injured workers who had not returned to work within six months dropping to a large 19.96%, which is so far the lowest level since 2008.
She further reported that those injured at work are getting back to work much sooner than the previous years, a good sign and indication that is better for the worker, the employer, and the community in general.
Ms Cosgrove said that despite nose-diving injury rates, the VWA shelled out more than $1.71 billion in treatment expenses, rehabilitation benefits, and compensation costs to the reported injured Victorian workers and employees. And that due to the strong insurance performance and the good assistance provided by the investment returns, the overall net result for the WorkCover program was a whopping $823 million. She commented that putting all these results together is a good indication that the scheme is in a strong financial status and continues to be well managed.
The strong results follow on from several other milestones for the Victorian WorkCover Authority, which currently reduced the premiums from the average employer from 2%to 1.272% of payroll, one of the lowest rates of any state in Australia and the lowest in Victorian history.