Risk Classification & Reporting Rules
Watch for future rulemaking
We are considering changes to ensure the classification plan:
- Remains current with today's business practices.
- Reflects the actual level of hazard for workers.
- Rates similar businesses together.
Store classifications (WAC 296-17A-6304, WAC 296-17A-6309, WAC 296-17A-6504)
Rule changes in progress
We are currently working on changes to the following rules:
2017 Miscellaneous Reporting & Classification Changes, (WAC 296-17-31017, WAC 296-17A-0518, 1501, 4904, 5308, 6511, 0219, 1102, 1105, 1303, 1304, 2002, 3905, 4814, 4815, 4816, 6906
The purpose of this rulemaking is not to make substantive changes to how the Department classifies employment, but to review and revise the classification plan to ensure it is clear and understandable. These changes will not change the way we calculate employer rates, our reporting requirements, or how we classify businesses.
For more information, see: 2017 Miscellaneous Reporting & Classification Changes (37 KB PDF).
Paver stone installation (WAC 296-17A-0217, WAC 296-17A-0301, WAC 296-17A-0302)
- For more information see: Stakeholder Letter, Proposed language OTS-8209-2, WSR 16-21-076.
- Please send comments and questions about this possible rulemaking to Karen.Chamberlain@lni.wa.gov.
Workers’ compensation classifications: Fraternities/sororities, tutoring services, nursing homes and other residential care (Chapter 296-17A WAC, Classifications for Washington Workers’ Compensation Insurance)
- Care Facilities (WAC 296-17A-6108, WAC 296-17A-6509)
- Tutoring Services (WAC 296-17A-5301)
- Clubs (WAC 296-17A-6205)
Please send comments and questions about this possible rulemaking to Richard.Bredeson@Lni.wa.gov.
2017 Industrial Insurance Premium Rates Chapter 296-17 WAC General Reporting Rules, Audit and Recordkeeping, Rates and Rating System for Washington Workers’ Compensation Insurance and Chapter 296-17B WAC Retrospective Rating for Workers’ Compensation Insurance
RCW 51.16.035 requires the department to classify all occupations or industries by degree of hazard, and to fix basic rates of premium that are:
- at the lowest level necessary to maintain actuarial solvency of the industrial insurance funds, and
- designed to attempt to limit fluctuations in premium rates.
By law, the plan is to recognize the hazardous nature of each industry, to assign insurance rates respective to the hazard of each industry, and to adjust these rates as needed to ensure solvency of the insurance funds.
Labor and Industries is also required by law to offer optional rating plans to employers as a further incentive to encourage workplace safety and accident prevention. The plan is periodically updated to reflect changes in premium size ranges and other factors.
Adopted rule changes
Changes have been made to the following rules:
Store classifications (WAC 296-17A-6309, WAC 296-17A-6406, WAC 296-17A-6407)
To ensure stores are fairly and consistently rated, the department adopted changes to Chapter 296-17A WAC, Classifications for Washington Workers’ Compensation Insurance that:
- Reclassify retail stores with the lowest hazard from classification 6406 to a new, lower-rated retail store classification 6411.
- Reclassify warehouse distribution centers without retail store exposure into classification 6407 (wholesale stores).
- Reclassify some lower hazard stores currently assigned classification 6309 (hardware type stores) to the lower-rated retail store classification 6406.
- Clarify the store classifications to better distinguish them from each other.
Student Volunteers, Unpaid Students, 100 Hour Reporting Method (WAC 296-17-935 Options for reporting qualifying volunteers, including student volunteers and unpaid students)
The purpose of this rulemaking is to implement requirements of Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 6293 which allows public and private colleges to create unpaid student volunteer programs for-profit or non-profit businesses, and for those businesses to elect medical aid coverage for those students.
Also, private colleges will now be able to elect medical aid coverage for students volunteering for the college itself. (Current law requires state colleges to cover volunteers serving the college, but allows only charitable private organizations to elect coverage for volunteers.)
This legislation also creates a means for all entities with coverage for volunteers, student volunteers, or unpaid students to cap reporting at 100 hours per volunteer per year. This type of reporting is not currently an option for employers and L&I must create a new reporting rule to implement such a reporting and premium change.
Student Volunteers, Unpaid Students, 100 Hour Reporting Method WAC 296-17-935 Options for reporting qualifying volunteers, including student volunteers and unpaid students
- CONCISE EXPLANATORY STATEMENT (CES) (27 KB PDF)
- Stakeholder Letter Volunteers (34 KB PDF)
- OTS-7972.2 (37 KB PDF)
- OTS-7973.2 (61 KB PDF)
- OTS-7974.2 (58 KB PDF)
- OTS-7975.2 (38 KB PDF)
- OTS-7976.4 (77 KB PDF)
- OTS-7977.5 (75 KB PDF)
- WSR 16-18-085 (148 KB PDF)
- WSR 16-18-085 Attachment (91 KB PDF)
The purpose of this rulemaking is to:
- Clarify the rules to make them easier to understand and apply.
- Incorporate existing agency practices into rule.
- Consolidate subclassifications to remove unnecessary administrative burden from employers.
- Define terms used within the rules to make the rules easier to understand and apply.
L&I is required by law to establish and maintain a workers' compensation classification plan, and to set premium rates that are: 1) the lowest necessary to maintain actuarial solvency of the accident and medical aid funds; and 2) designed to attempt to limit fluctuations in premium rates. The plan must be consistent with recognized principles of insurance. L&I is also required by law to offer retrospective rating plans to employers as a further incentive to encourage workplace safety and prevent employee injury.
Taxi, for hire, limousine, and commercial transportation service drivers legislation (WAC Chapters 296-17 & 296-17A)
L&I has implemented the requirements of Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5550 which exempts from workers' compensation insurance the taxi, for hire, and limousine drivers who own or lease their vehicles; and commercial transportation service (CTS) drivers as defined in Title 48. The legislation allows for elective coverage for these exempt employments.