Writing About Labor & Industries

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Facts & figures about L&I

L&I is a diverse state agency dedicated to the safety, health and security of Washington workers and protecting the public from unsafe work and economic hardship.

2013 statistics:

For information about workers' compensation statistics, read L&I's Your Premium Dollars at Work:

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Story ideas

Workers' compensation

Workplace safety

(Contact: Elaine Fischer, 360-902-5413)

Consumer help

(Contact: Debby Abe, 360-902-6043)

Fraud

(Contact: Debby Abe, 360-902-6043)

Other

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Writing about workplace accidents

Are you covering a workplace accident or safety citation? Here's the background information on DOSH:

DOSH: "Washington's OSHA"

Employers are required to provide safe and healthy worksites and protect their workers from hazards. They must meet certain requirements, including having an accident prevention plan tailored to the hazards of a particular worksite. In addition, certain high-hazard industries, such as construction, agriculture and logging, have industry-specific standards that must be met.

These requirements are in the Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act, or WISHA.

The Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) is the state equivalent of the federal OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration). By law, the DOSH state program must meet or exceed all OSHA requirements. All workplace consultations and inspections are done by L&I staff.

L&I conducts about 5,000 workplace safety and health inspections annually.

When an accident happens, we investigate

By law, DOSH must investigate all work-related deaths and all catastrophic incidents (any time a worker is hospitalized) in workplaces where employees are present. Employers must notify L&I within eight hours of this type of accident.

An investigation also may be triggered by an employee complaint, a referral from another agency, or when otherwise brought to our attention, such as a breaking news story involving a workplace accident.

The primary focus of a DOSH investigation is to determine whether the employer was protecting its workers properly at the time the accident happened. The investigator will look at what happened - and why - in making this determination.

If a citation is issued

An employer may be found to have one or more of the following levels of violations:

The employer has 15 business days to appeal a DOSH citation.

Funds collected from penalties go into the supplemental pension fund to benefit injured workers and the surviving family members of workers who are killed on the job.

 

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