How Purolator dealt with skyrocketing costs

Faced with a $13 million WCB bill, Purolator got managers, doctors on side
By Uyen Vu
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 03/15/2006

When Doug Kube describes Purolator’s workers’ compensation premiums as a “pretty big number,” it sounds like an understatement.

With 2,130 claims filed in 2005, the company’s bill for workers’ compensation premiums came in at around $13 million for the year. At Purolator, which employs 11,600 people across Canada including 3,000 couriers, 300 line haul truck drivers and 500 call centre operators, 90 per cent of the workers’ compensation claims can be traced back to employees in two occupations: couriers and sorters. Because their jobs require constant hauling, lifting, pushing and pulling, soft tissue, orthopedic and joint injuries make up the bulk of the claims. Psychological disability is also common, accounting for about one in five claims.

Kube, director of human resources, says the numbers are on par with the industry average. But recognizing that the costs were too high, particularly on the workers’ compensation side, Purolator put in place a program to improve claims management and disability accommodation.