City hall will be spending $280,000 to cover workplace accidents in 2012 - about $80,000 more than it forecast.
The city is in the midst of reworking a corporate health and safety plan that, it is hoped, will increase awareness among municipal employees about the dangers of having an accident while on the job and thereby reduce workplace accidents.
Coun. Glen Grant was concerned about the jump and suggested a revamped municipal safety plan is sorely needed.
"$80,000 is a lot of money," he said. "I think it's a little bit high compared to the past."
City finance manager Maureen Adams said bean counters typicallly take a three-year average when forecasting the budget line item that deals with Workplace Safety and Insurance Board accidents - and an $80,000 jump would indicate this has been a challenging year for Cornwall on the accident front.
"If it looks like it's trending up, we might increase it," Adams said of the budget forecast.
Dail Levesque, the city's human resources manager, said he is introducing a reworked health and safety plan when the city enters budget deliberations for 2013.
He added the city is essentially self-insured, and when a workplace accident takes place, taxpayers are on the hook for expenses.
"When we have an accident within the workplace, we pay all the costs," he said. "It's a long system when we are involved with the employee and WSIB.
"It's a good thing when you have a good year. But if you have a bad year, you pay more."
Adams said there is not a specific item or event that lead to the increase in 2012, but instead it was a "cumulative" effect of more accidents in general that resulted in the increase.
Grant said he is looking forward to Levesque's new heath and safety plan and hopes it will result in fewer workplace accidents.
"It's a cost to the city that we have to be aware of," said the former health and safety co-ordinator at the now-defunct Domtar paper mill. "I want to see what components are put in place. Perhaps I can add some input at that time."