What is the Right to Know Fee Assessment?

In 1986, the Legislature passed the Worker and Community Right to Know Act. The Act mandated the state to establish a comprehensive program for disclosing information about hazardous substances in the workplace and the community. The program provides a process and procedure for residents to gain access to this information and is funded through fee assessments to employers. The Department of Labor & Industries administers this under the Washington Administrative Code, WAC 296-800-170, Employer Chemical Hazard Communication.

What are the collected fees used for?

The collected fees support the Worker and Community Right to Know Program managed by the Department of Labor & Industries and Department of Ecology. The collected fees provide:

  • Safety and health assistance is available free of charge
    to employers. Safety and health professionals will help
    determine if hazardous substances are present in the
    workplace and help employers set up
    Hazard Communication Program as required.
  • Toll-free telephone numbers at Department of Labor
    & Industries and Department of Ecology for information
    and answers to your questions.

  • Free foreign language translations of employer-written
    Hazard Communication programs, Material Safety Data
    Sheets, and other related information.

  • Free educational guidelines, brochures and other materials
    related to state regulations and information on hazardous
    substances in the workplace and community.

  • Free publications regarding Hazard Communication
    Programs from the Department of Labor & Industries.
    To order, please call 1-800-4BE-SAFE.

Who is billed?

Fees are assessed to industries designated by the Legislature who reported 10,400 or more worker hours from the previous calendar year with Standard Industrial Classification codes that fall under the following major groups: agriculture and forestry; mining; construction; manufacturing; transportation; communications; electric, gas, and sanitary services; automotive repair services and garages; miscellaneous repair services; health services; and educational services. These industries typically have or use chemical products that are hazardous and may create potential exposure to employees.

Click here for more information about your SIC code

How is the Right to Know Fee Assessment amount determined?

This annual fee is based on the total number of worker hours reported to the department during the previous calendar year. The total reported hours is divided by 2,080 hours (the equivalent of a full-time worker) and then rounded up to the nearest whole number. That number is then multiplied by $2.50 to determine the total fee assessment. All reported full-time, part-time, and temporary worker hours are included.

Example:

Your company reported 23,716 hours in 2000.
23,716 hours divided by 2,080 hours (a full-time worker) equals 11.40 full-time workers
12 full-time workers (rounded up) multiplied by $2.50 equals $30.00 for your Right to Know Fee Assessment.

What is the best way to ensure my payment is received and my account is credited properly?

To ensure that your payment is processed quickly and credited accurately to your account, it is necessary that you send the tear-off portion of the billing invoice along with your payment. Remember to include your account number on your check, and use the pre-addressed return envelope provided. You may pay your Right to Know Fee Assessment at your nearest Labor & Industries Service Location.

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