Q1: Can employers choose not to participate in PRIME?
A: No, the Commission determines if an employer is eligible for PRIME, and most employers are eligible. If eligible, all PRIME calculations, refunds or charges will be applied to the employer’s account. (Click here to see a sample assessment invoice)
Q2: How does the Commission determine the assessment each employer pays?
A: Annual assessments (the amount an employer pays to the Commission each year for workers’ compensation insurance) are determined by two factors: (a) the firm’s industry classification; and, (b) the total assessable earnings an employer pays to his or her workers for the calendar year. Based on historical cost and payroll, each industry is assigned a base rate. This base rate is a percentage of assessable payroll that the employer must pay annually to the Commission.
Q3: When did the old experience rating program cease to exist?
A: The experience rating program ceased to exist for large employers in January 2008 and for all other employers in January 2009. The PRIME Experience Incentive takes the place of the old experience rating program.
Q4: What is the PRIME Status Report and why am I not receiving these reports?
A: The Prime Status Report is a monthly cost report that outlines all claim costs applied to an employer’s account during the past month and year-to-date. These PRIME Status Reports allow employers to monitor their claim costs. In addition, employers can see how their claim costs compare to their experience incentive range.
If employers are not receiving these reports, it is because:
- No claim costs have been applied to their account in the past month, or
- They have not completed the Claim Cost Contact Authorization Form providing the necessary contact information. Complete the form and forward it to the Commission.
Q6: How can I receive more detailed information about the medical costs paid on the claims of my injured workers?
A: In order to receive the Detailed Health Care Cost Reports, employers must be registered for the Commission’s web service called connect. Once employers are registered, they no longer receive their cost reports in the mail, but only online. Click here to register.
Q8: I have a very small business and it’s impractical for me to have a worker representative. What should I do?
A: In circumstances where a worker health and safety representative is impractical, such as companies with a high turnover of staff or all part time workers, and less than six persons are employed at the workplace, an employer may appoint a workplace health and safety designate. The designate can be a worker connected with management or the employer.
Q9: Where and when can I get my required OH&S training for committees, representatives, and designates?
A: All OH&S training is provided by independent trainers and a list of these individuals and companies is available by clicking here. Since PRIME will likely lead to an increased demand for training, we’ve taken steps to help promote training sessions and to ensure they are offered across the province. Schedules are also available from each trainer directly.
Q10: My company hires seasonal employees only. Am I exempt from the training requirements?
A: No. If at any time companies employs more than one worker, they are required to ensure that a WH&S representative/designate is appointed or an occupational health and safety committee is established.
Q11: By complying with PRIME, am I meeting provincial OH&S requirements?
A: If employers are provincially regulated, their OH&S requirements may be greater than their requirements noted under PRIME. PRIME aims to ensure a good start and continuous improvement in the areas of occupational health and safety and return to work for all employers. The Commission has Health and Safety Advisors to help employers meet their full legislative requirements. If they have questions, they should call 709-778-1000 or 1-800-563-9000 contact the province’s Department of Government Services.
Q12: I’ve never heard of early and safe return-to-work. Do I have to do anything in this area?
A: Effective January 1, 2002, all employers and workers (the workplace parties) have been obligated under section 89 of the WHSC Act to co-operate in an injured worker’s early and safe return to suitable and available employment with the injury employer. As part of PRIME, all employers must have a return-to-work policy and an injury reporting system. Larger employers who pay the PRIME Assessment Limit ($48,000) or more in annual calculated base assessments must also establish a return-to-work program. See the Employer Category section for more specifics on employer size and Practice Incentive Criteria #5 for full details.
Q13: Is return-to-work training a requirement for PRIME?
A: Return-to-work training is not a requirement; however, there are Commission-certified trainers available to work with employers and workers who would like training in this area.
Q14: What if I have more than one location for my business?
A: The Occupational Health and Safety Act requires that every workplace have a workplace health and safety representative/designate or an occupational health and safety committee, depending on the number of workers at each individual workplace. Each workplace must be considered separately when determining whether a committee, a representative, or a designate is required.
Q15: How does the Commission check that employers are complying with PRIME?
A: Employers will be asked on their Annual Employer Statements if they meet the requirements of PRIME’s practice incentive. Those who answer “yes” will qualify for a refund. There are several checks available at the Commission to ensure that employers are being truthful in their answers. We also conduct random audits to verify employer responses on their PRIME questionnaire.
Q16: What documentation must I keep, and for how long, in order to be prepared for a PRIME audit?
A: The documents employers must keep depend on their specific PRIME requirements, which are explained in the various sections of this website. They must keep their documentation for a full six years.
See “Contact Us” for specific Commission staff members to call for answers to specific questions about an individual employer’s account.