We are consulting with firms about a proposal to retire the current classification unit (CU) for sawmills and create two new CUs in 2021 that better represent the industry.


Due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, we are putting the following sawmill classification unit consultation process on hold in support of firms’ efforts to ensure the health and safety of their employees. We will advise firms when consultation will continue.

Please view our Manufacturing and COVID-19 safety page for information on how you can keep your workers safe at work. We encourage firms to also review the BC Forest Safety Council’s COVID-19 information and to continue engaging with them for their health and safety needs.

The current CU

Sawmills are currently represented as one CU, 714022 [Sawmill].

Each year, we review the way we classify firms and industries to ensure we continue to provide fair insurance rates. When we reviewed CU 714022, we identified that the firms could potentially be divided between integrated sawmills with forest tenure obligations and non-integrated sawmills.

These two groups have distinguishable differences in injury rate, duration, and claim costs. This means firms in the lower-risk group are partially subsidizing the insurance costs for firms in the higher-risk group in this CU. This cross-subsidization can make it challenging to identify common risks across the sawmill industry and to understand how one firm compares to others in the same risk category. Ultimately, this impacts the ability to improve workplace occupational health and safety for firms in both higher and lower risk sawmill industry groups.

Proposed changes

Based on the above, we propose separating the existing CU 714022 into two new and distinct CUs. This will help ensure that the insurance rate charged to firms in each CU is more consistent with the actual costs and risks associated with the specific sawmill industry.

Learn more about the two new proposed CUs:

Integrated Sawmill (with Forest Tenure Obligations) — CU 714046

Non-Integrated Sawmill (without Forest Tenure Obligations) — CU 714047

Let us know what you think

We want to hear your questions and comments about the proposed changes to the sawmill classification unit. You can also contact us for more information about the sawmill industry, CU changes, the impacts, and our industry definitions. We have sent a letter to potentially affected firms with more detail — if you’d like a copy, please let us know.

Thank you to the firms who have expressed an interest in participating in the consultation process. If you have any questions regarding consultation or this initiative, please email rates@worksafebc.com.

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