News for Small Business - News for L&I small business customers and tips for saving time and moneyI
March 2009

L&I mails updated workplace posters

L&I has updated its three required workplace posters to reflect changes or new information added in 2008 and to clarify language. All employers except self-insured businesses received new posters in January. Self-insured businesses will receive their new posters in March.

The posters, their valid edition date, and key changes are:

  • Job Safety and Health Law (12-2008 edition)
    Employers must report any workplace incident to L&I that causes one or more employees to be hospitalized. Rules formerly required reporting of incidents requiring hospitalization of two or more workers.
  • Your Rights as a Worker in Washington State (12-2008 edition)
    Posters for non-agricultural and agricultural businesses have been combined. Information has been added about new leave requirements for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, and for spouses of military personnel ready to deploy.
  • Notice to Employees – If a Job Injury Occurs (12-2008 edition)
    The list of qualified health-care providers has been expanded to include physician assistants and advanced registered nurse practitioners (ARNPs).

Additional copies of these posters and the recommended Washington Minimum Wage poster can be ordered, free of charge, online at www.Posters.Lni.wa.gov. Information about other government posters is available from this Web page as well. Posters also can be picked up at any local L&I office.

In 2007, the Washington State Legislature directed L&I to send the posters to all Washington employers. The intent is to help employers be aware of new requirements and to communicate this information to workers.

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Program addresses injuries in the trucking industry

Semi Truck

Trucking companies and their workers are suffering from high numbers of workplace injuries and the associated costs. L&I’s Safety & Health Assessment & Research for Prevention (SHARP) is working with the industry on solutions to the problem.

The program — called the Trucking Injury Reduction Emphasis (TIRES) - found that transportation ranks as one of the highest-risk industries for work-related injuries, and that many of the injuries in the trucking industry are preventable. In fact, a 2005 survey of 359 trucking companies found that two types of injuries were the most common and made up about two-thirds of workers’ comp costs:

  • Sprains, strains, and overexertions.
  • Slips, trips and falls.

Every year, one out of every five workers in the trucking industry will have a claim that requires medical treatment only, costing about $700 per claim, on average, while one in 13 workers will have an accepted time-loss claim that costs, on average, about $30,000.

SHARP is working with employers and employees in the trucking industry to identify hazards and provide practical solutions though a variety of ways, including ride-alongs with drivers, onsite observation and assessments, and online publications that provide useful safety tips to truckers.

For more information about the TIRES program, please contact SHARP at 1-888-667-4277 or e-mail SHARP@LNI.wa.gov. You can also find lots of information on the L&I Web site at www.lni.wa.gov/Safety/Research/Trucking/Default.asp.

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New rules may save money on employees working out of state

Thanks to a change in state law, Washington employers, in some cases, won’t need to pay L&I workers’ compensation for employees when they’re working out-of-state.

In the past, Washington employers with employees working out of state sometimes faced paying workers’ comp premiums both for Washington and the other state. Now, under the revised law, employers can avoid paying L&I workers’ comp premiums for out-of-state work when they meet all of the following:

  • Have workers in the other state for more than 30 days in a calendar year (January 1st through December 31st).
  • Provide L&I with proof of workers’ comp coverage issued by the out-of-state insurer.
  • Fill out the “Application for Out of State Reporting,” which is available online at www.lni.wa.gov/forms/pdf/212234af.pdf.
  • Report all out-of-state work by the Washington workers to L&I on the “Employer’s Out-of-State Supplemental Quarterly Report for Workers’ Compensation,” which is available online at www.lni.wa.gov/forms/pdf/212233af.pdf.
  • Maintain all of the necessary reporting records.


If you are working in a state that has a reciprocal agreement with L&I, then the terms of that agreement govern which state will cover your workers. Oregon and Idaho have reciprocal agreements with L&I. For other states with reciprocal agreements, please go to the L&I Web site at: lni.wa.gov/ClaimsIns/Insurance/File/OutOfState/RecipStates/Default.asp

Questions? Visit the L&I Web site at www.outofstate.lni.wa.gov or call Dick Bredeson at 360-902-4985 or by e-mail at OutOfState@Lni.wa.gov.

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New initiative aimed at speeding services to employers and injured workers

Employers in Northwest Washington with a workers’ compensation claim might soon be contacted by a new team at L&I that can help them manage their claim and maintain low workers' compensation premiums.

The team is part of new L&I effort to help injured or ill workers recover and return to their jobs more quickly, reducing costs for employers and the workers’ compensation system. The initiative, called Early Claim Solutions, is reaching out to medical providers in Snohomish, Skagit, Whatcom, Island, and San Juan counties to encourage them to more quickly contact L&I after they’ve treated an injured worker.

L&I’s new staff team will be testing ways to screen the claims and employer information to identify employers and injured workers likely to benefit from specialized L&I services such as early return-to-work, risk management, or safety consultations. The team will also test ways to offer services more promptly to employers and injured workers.

For more information about Early Claim Solutions, go to www.EarlyClaims.Lni.wa.gov or contact the Early Claim Solutions team at EarlyClaims@Lni.wa.gov.

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Tools to save time and money

L&I employer training and workshops for March and April

Build your skills for managing workplace safety, workers’ comp and construction contracting at an L&I workshop or training session near you. Sign up for a free service that will regularly send the latest training calendar straight to your e-mail. Just click this link: www.lni.wa.gov/Main/Listservs/LNITraining.asp.

View the March and April workshops calendar sent to our current subscribers back in February

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Rules, regulations and laws update

Prevailing wage rule on materials delivery revised

Washington State Legislative Building

L&I, through the rule-making process, has clarified the prevailing wage coverage of delivery services for sand, gravel, wet cement and similar products. The new rule makes the coverage of work and payment of wages consistent with the direction from the courts, ensuring that the intent of the law for providing prevailing wages for workers is maintained and that businesses don’t encounter unanticipated costs due to a lack of understanding of coverage requirements.

L&I worked closely with both labor and business during the drafting of the rule. The stakeholders wanted a rule that is clear, understandable, and easy to comply with. Labor’s comments were focused on reintegrating wet cement into WAC 296-127-018. The new rule became effective on January 2, 2009.

Text of WAC 296-127-018 can be found at this link: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/wac/default.aspx?cite=296-127-018

 

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