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News for Small Business - October 2006

News

L&I will estimate your 2007 workers’ compensation premiums

Get an estimate of your 2007 workers’ compensation rates now to help you plan next year’s budget, even though final rates won’t be announced until December.

Your workers’ compensation account manager is ready to help you estimate your 2007 rates based on L&I’s proposed rates for next year. Just give them a call.Calculate 2007 worker's comp premiums

You have three ways to find your account manager’s name and phone number:

  • Look on the front of your quarterly report form.
  • Call L&I’s Employer Services division at 360-902-4817.
  • Find it on the L&I web site. Select this link: https://fortress.wa.gov/lni/crpsi/, then type in your company name or account number and press the “search” button. Your account manager will be listed at the bottom of the page.

Seattle-area hearing added for 2007 proposed workers' compensation rates

L&I has added a public hearing on its proposed 2007 workers' compensation rates:

1:00 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2006

L&I Tukwila Office

12806 Gateway Drive
Tukwila, WA

Directions and a map to the Tukwila L&I office can be found at: http://www.lni.wa.gov/Main/ContactInfo/OfficeLocations/tukwila.asp.

Four public hearings have already been held.  One other hearing, besides the Tukwila date, is scheduled for Tumwater:

10:00 a.m.

Monday, Nov. 6, 2006

L&I Building Auditorium

7273 Linderson Way

Tumwater, WA

Directions and a map to the Tumwater L&I Building can be found at: http://www.lni.wa.gov/Main/ContactInfo/OfficeLocations/default.asp.

For more information on 2007 proposed rates, please see the September Special Edition of L&I News for Small Business on the L&I web site at www.LNI.wa.gov/news/smallbusiness.


Tools to save time and money

Injury Action Checklist helps you make the right call on a claim

If you’re an employer in Washington, you’ve just received an easy-to-use checklist that can help you make good decisions about workers’ compensation claims and potentially save thousands of dollars.

Get medical helpThe colorful “Injury Action Checklist” was mailed with the annual Employer News newsletter announcing 2007 proposed workers’ compensation rates.

The checklist is designed to be kept for reference when a claim occurs — a valuable resource for most of L&I’s workers’ compensation customers, 80 percent of whom have not had a claim in the past three years. Nearly all of these firms are small businesses whose owners can face a crisis when a rare claim occurs. This checklist will help you make informed decisions that can help your injured worker and your firm’s financial health.

The checklist is also useful for:

  • Supervisors on a job site.
  • Quick information in a first-aid kit.
  • Posting on a workplace bulletin board.

A limited supply of additional copies are available from L&I at no cost. Please contact Ron Langley, Small Business Liaison, at 360-902-4205 or by email at SmallBusiness@Lni.wa.gov.


Spend 90 minutes to prevent accidents and save money

Give us 90 minutes and we’ll give you information that puts you ahead of workplace injuries and workers’ compensation costs.

Ask your industry association or local business group to invite L&I to give one or more of these 90-minute workshops at your local chapter meeting:

  • Small-business workshop
    • True costs of an accident
    • Useful tools on how to avoid accidents
      • Hazard assessment
      • Accident prevention program
      • Safety meetings
      • How to control the financial impact of an accident on your business
  • Workers’ compensation 101
    • How injuries impact premiums
    • Elements of an effective claims plan

There’s no charge for these workshops.

Contact:

  • For group presentations, contact the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) workshop program at 1-800-574-2829.
  • For individual workplace training on your site, contact an L&I consultant at www.SafetyConsultants.LNI.wa.gov or call 1-800-423-7233.

The latest on fall-protection — Free Video

L&I’s new fall-protection video gives construction employers the latest best-practices for protecting your workers from injuries caused by falls. This video will help you to specifically meet Washington’s fall-protection standards, and is available to be borrowed FREE from the L&I Safety & Health Video Library at 360-902-5444 or 1-800-574-9881 (Washington only), or by email at SHVideo@Lni.wa.gov.


New checklist makes your accident prevention program easier to build

Every employer in Washington is required to have an accident prevention program, but most small-business owners have no experience with building one.

L&I has made it easier with its new Safety & Health Checklists for Small Business. You can find the small business checklist on the L&I web site at www.lni.wa.gov/safety/basics/smallbusiness, or order it on a CD-ROM disk. The checklist gives you streamlined action programs with links to templates and sample documents, plus easy access to lots of safety-related web sites.

For construction companies, L&I has developed a specialized version called Safety & Health Checklists for Construction. It is available currently on CD-ROM and will be on the web site soon.

To order a CD-ROM version of either checklist, email us at SHARE@lni.wa.gov, or call 360-902-4250.

These new checklists were launched when business association leaders told us that owners of small businesses simply don’t have the time or immediate need to wade through the volumes of regulations to find the information they need to build their accident prevention program.

Since then, we’ve worked with those associations, individual business owners, L&I safety and health consultants and risk management consultants to develop these easy-to-use tools for small-business owners. We will develop other specialized versions of the checklists as needed, and refine them as we get feedback from small-business owners and their representatives.


FOCUS ON: Right to Know fee

“Right-to-Know” fee pays for worker and citizen information

About 16,000 businesses were billed last month for their annual “Worker Right to Know” fee. Business owners often ask L&I why they pay this fee.

The state Legislature passed the Right-to-Know law (49.70 RCW) in 1986 to support services offered by L&I and the state Department of Ecology. At L&I, the fee supports:

  • No-cost consultations for businesses that need to learn about hazardous materials at their work sites and how to communicate hazards to employees;
  • Interpreting Material Safety Data sheets into other languages;
  • Pamphlets and other materials about hazardous materials and workers’ right to know exposure to them in the workplace.

In addition, the Department of Ecology uses Right to Know fees to fund projects that inform communities about hazardous substances used, stored and discharged from businesses in our state. Ecology also provides information about hazardous-waste cleanup sites.

The fees generate about $2 million each year. Fees for individual firms range from $15 to $50, and are assessed by Standard Industrial Classification Code (SIC Code) to industries that annually report 10,400 or more worker hours and do business in these categories: 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.

For more information about Right to Know, please select this link on the L&I web site: http://www.lni.wa.gov/Safety/Topics/AtoZ/RTK/default.asp.


L&I Small Business Contact:

Ron Langley
Small Business Liaison
Phone: 360-902-4205
Fax: 360-902-5420
E-mail: SmallBusiness@Lni.wa.gov

Want to subscribe to L&I News for Small Business? Contact Ron via the contact information listed above.

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