WorkSafe has delivered a strong financial result because of low workplace injuries rate and sound claims management.
WorkSafe Acting Chief Executive, Ian Forsyth, thanked Victorian workers and employers for doing their part in making workplaces safer.
“Thanks to the support of employers and workers, Victoria’s workplaces have never been safer in terms of injury rates, and together with our agents, we’ve continued to achieve strong claims liability results,” said Mr Forsyth.
“We’ve outperformed budgeted results to deliver an actuarial release of $ 182 million, driving a performance from insurance operations (PFIO) results of $ 385 million.”
Mr Forsyth said PFIO was the most insightful measure of scheme annual performance given it focused on the fundamentals that management could be held accountable for delivering.
“Performance from insurance operations looks beyond external factors, such as interest rates and investment market performance that can otherwise mask either good or bad scheme management,” he said.
“During 2011/12, factors beyond our control – such as fluctuations in bond yields due to falling interest rates and higher than expected inflation – had a negative impact on all businesses like ours, resulting in an after tax net loss of $ 676 million.
“However when you look through those external factors, the underlying fundamentals of the scheme are very strong.
“As we’ve said year in, year out, actuarial release and the PFIO result along with break even premium and funding ratio are the key measures of financial performance and sustainability.
“Our performance across these measures combined was very strong in 2011/12 and the scheme is well placed in both absolute and relative terms.”
The Victorian Government introduced a dividend payment for WorkSafe in December 2011. A dividend of $ 147 million was paid from the 2010/11 PFIO.
WorkSafe’s financial performance gave way to additional reduction in employer premiums of 3% for 2012/13.
“The premium cut announced by the Government earlier this year further enhances Victoria’s position as having the lowest average premium rate in the country and quality benefit support for injured workers,” said Mr Forsyth
“This is particularly pleasing at a time when many other schemes are facing considerable financial pressure and have either increased premiums or made changes to their benefit structure.
“In 2012/13 Victoria’s average premium rate of 1.298% is the lowest in the state’s history and the lowest rate in the country, which is good for Victorian businesses.
“In terms of workplace safety, Victoria recorded a record low injury rate of 10.17 claims per 1000 workers in 2011/12, down from 10.34 for 2010/11.
“These results are very encouraging and continue longer term improvement trends, however we believe that in conjunction with employers and workers more can be done to reduce work related injuries and eliminate fatalities.
“We will continue to target poorly performing industries and high risk occupations, with a particular focus on manual handling and dangerous machines over the coming 12 months.
“It was also pleasing that the views of our employees towards WorkSafe as an employer improved significantly in 2011/12 and are above those for the average employer in the public and private sectors.
According to Mr Forsyth, WorkSafe has set more challenging safety, return to work, service and sustainability targets for WorkSafe 2017.
“We have set further challenging safety, return to work, service and sustainability targets in our new five year strategy, WorkSafe 2017, and continuing to support and invest in our people will be critical to their achievement,” he said.