The Workplace Safety Insurance Board has annouced its rates for 2002. The WSIB board of directors set the average premium rate or 2002 at $2.13 for every $100 for insurable earnings. This means that (on average) Ontario employers will be paying the same for workplace insurance in 2002 as they are in 2001. The insurable earnings ceiling for 2002 has been set at $64,600 per worker – up from $60,600 in 2001. For the five years leading up to 2001, Ontario employers have seen a steady reduction of the average premium rate, says the WSIB. In fact, the average rate has decreased by 29% since 1996. This has been due to improved cost management and an increased focus on injury prevention and early, safe return to work. The 2002 rate reflects a “leveling-off” in the number of injuries and related costs projected for the system. It also reflects the need to take account of recent changes in the projected economic climate for next year. In setting the average premium rate, the WSIB attempts to keep the rate as low as possible while working towards the elimination of the unfunded liability and ensuring that the costs of running the system are covered. The unfunded liability is the difference between the future cost of workplace safety and insurance benefits and the funds in the system to pay for them. The unfunded liability has been reduced by more than 50% since 1993, when it peaked at $11.5 billion. It is now $5.7 billion.