WSIB reduces 2017 rates as much as 14 per cent for several construction sectors


Ontario Construction Report staff writer

Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) has announced significant rate reductions for several construction industry sectors, the first reduction in many years.

Rates declined by 14 per cent for home building, as well as form working and demolition and siding and outside finishing.

No rates increased, but some rates remained stable, including the masonry and Industrial Commercial and Institutional (ICI) construction categories.

The WSIB said in a news release that the average premium rate reduction across all industries will be five per cent for 2017, “totaling $250 million left in the Ontario economy through lower premiums.” WSIB says the rate reduction “comes after brisk progress in paying down the WSIB’s unfunded liability.”

Safer workplaces, better outcomes for injured workers and operational and financial improvements have left Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) in its strongest position in decades, WSIB chair Elizabeth Witmer said in a news release.

“After reaching a high of $14.2 billion in 2011, the UFL today has been reduced by more than half to $5.6 billion,” WSIB president and CEO Tom Teahen said.

In a statement, Teahen credited the WSIB’s turnaround to several factors detailed in its 2016 Economic Statement, including:

• Better outcomes for injured workers

• Higher than anticipated premium revenue

• Safer Ontario workplaces leading to fewer claims

“These gains provide us with the flexibility to implement secure benefits for injured workers, while at the same time enabling premium rate relief for Ontario employers,” Witmer said.

Teahen said that recent examples of enhanced supports for injured workers include the WSIB’s administration of legislated PTSD coverage for first responders, stronger support for firefighters suffering work related cancers and linking benefits to inflation.

The five per cent reduction is an average figure. In 2017 and beyond, employer groups showing positive performance in health and safety outcomes, as well as in the number and cost of new claims, will see a decrease of up to 14 per cent in their rate compared to 2016, as economic conditions permit, the WSIB announcement reported.

The Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA) says a news release that it is pleased with the rate reductions.

“The 14 per cent rate reduction confirms the great work our members have done in health and safety training,” said OHBA CEO Joe Vaccaro. “Across Ontario, builders and renovators are better educated, more aware, and are actively promoting the importance of safe worksites. Through safety groups, private training companies and more in-house safety expertise, OHBA members are continuously making improvements in safety. We are pleased that WSIB has recognized our members’ achievements validated by WSIB’s 14 per cent rate decrease and data.”

“Over the past few years, OHBA members have been frustrated by recent WSIB policy decisions such as ‘Bill 119’ which mandated small business owners purchase redundant WSIB insurance to maintaining an outdated premium rate structure,” said Vaccaro.

“Today marks a new chapter in our relationship with WSIB. This premium decrease reflects our sector’s improvements in health and safety are finally being reflected in the amount our members pay into the system. OHBA is also pleased that WSIB has again committed to premium rate modernization that will bring fairness to how premiums are collected in construction. OHBA and our extensive network of 30 local associations welcome the opportunity to work with WSIB and the Ministry of Labour as we continue to make Ontario’s worksites safer.”

Below is a list of the rates for construction and construction related categories. You can obtain additional details on individual categories by clicking on the rate group numbers on the left of the table.


2017 Premium rates table

Rate Group Description 2017 Premium Rate($) 2016 Premium Rate ($) Percent Change
134 (PDF) Aggregates 6.19 6.52 -5.1%
308 (PDF) Millwork And Other Wood Industries 5.57 5.57 0.0%
311 (PDF) Wooden Cabinets 4.16 4.16 0.0%
374 (PDF) Doors And Windows 3.56 3.56 0.0%
375 (PDF) Structural And Architectural Products 4.71 4.71 0.0%
377 (PDF) Coating Of Metal Products 4.19 4.19 0.0%
379 (PDF) Hardware, Tools And Cutlery 2.57 2.74 -6.2%
411 (PDF) Agricultural, Construction And Mining Machinery 2.89 2.89 0.0%
485 (PDF) Bricks, Ceramics And Abrasives 4.54 4.54 0.0%
496 (PDF) Concrete Products 5.30 5.42 -2.2%
497 (PDF) Ready-Mix Concrete 3.93 3.93 0.0%
681 (PDF) Lumber And Builders Supply 2.72 3.01 -9.6%
685 (PDF) Metal Products, Wholesale 3.25 3.25 0.0%
689 (PDF) Waste Materials Recycling 5.65 6.17 -8.4%
704 (PDF) Electrical And Incidental Construction Services 3.56 3.69 -3.5%
707 (PDF) Mechanical And Sheet Metal Work 4.16 4.16 0.0%
711 (PDF) Roadbuilding And Excavating 4.95 5.29 -6.4%
719 (PDF) Inside Finishing 6.65 7.51 -11.5%
723 (PDF) Industrial, Commercial & Institutional Construction 4.55 4.55 0.0%
728 (PDF) Roofing 13.71 14.80 -7.4%
732 (PDF) Heavy Civil Construction 6.65 7.03 -5.4%
737 (PDF) Millwrighting And Welding 6.72 6.90 -2.6%
741 (PDF) Masonry 12.70 12.70 0.0%
748 (PDF) Form Work And Demolition 15.75 18.31 -14.0%
751 (PDF) Siding And Outside Finishing 8.82 10.25 -14.0%
755 (PDF) Non-Exempt Partners and Executive Officers in Construction 0.21 0.21 0.0%
764 (PDF) Homebuilding 7.83 9.10 -14.0%


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