Right To Know (Employer Fee Assessment)

What is the Right to Know Fee Assessment program?

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This program supports the implementation of the Worker and Community Right to Know Act (app.leg.wa.gov), passed by the Washington State Legislature in 1984. L&I administers this program under the Right to Know Fee Assessment rule, Chapter 296-63, WAC.

What are the annual fees used for?

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The fees are used by L&I and the Department of Ecology to provide:

  • Free safety and health assistance to employers to help determine if hazardous chemicals are present in the workplace and to help employers set up a Hazard Communication Program.
  • Free educational guidelines, brochures and other materials related
    to state regulations and information on hazardous substances in the
    workplace and community.
  • Toll-free telephone numbers for information and answers to questions. Call L&I at 1-800-423-7233. Call Ecology's Hazardous Substance Information and Education Office at 1-800-633-7585.
  • Free translations of Hazard Communication Programs, Safety Data Sheets, and other related information into languages other than English.

Who is billed?

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Fees are assessed to employers who reported 10,400 or more worker hours for the previous calendar year and who are in industries with a North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code in the following major groups:

  • Agriculture and forestry industries.
  • Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction.
  • Construction industries.
  • Manufacturing industries.
  • Transportation, pipeline, communications, electric, gas, and sanitary services.
  • Automotive repair, services, and garages.
  • Miscellaneous repair services.
  • Health services.
  • Educational services.

These industries, selected by the Legislature, typically have or use chemical products that are hazardous and may create potential exposure to employees.

For more information about your NAICS code, go to SIC and NAICS Codes (dor.wa.gov).

How is my fee calculated?

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

Example:

Your company reported 23,716 hours last year.

Divide 23,716 hours by 2,080 hours and youll get 11.40 full-time workers. Round 11.40 up to 12.

Multiply 12 by $2.50 and youll get $30.

So, your fee would be $30.

How do I pay my fee?

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Send the tear-off portion of the billing invoice along with your payment in the pre-addressed return envelope provided and include your account number on your check.

You may also pay online or in person at your nearest L&I office.

What if my payment is late?

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Penalties will be assessed if payment isnt received by L&Is due date. The following penalties are specified in state law RCW 49.70.177 (app.leg.wa.gov):

  • A 5% penalty or minimum of $10 for late payment.
  • A 10% penalty or minimum of $10 if 30 days past the due date.
  • A 20% penalty or minimum of $10 if 60 days past the due date.

Do I qualify for an exemption from this fee?

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You may apply for an exemption if you can certify, in a written request to L&I, that you do not have hazardous chemicals at your work site. You'll need to follow the written exemption request specifications in WAC 296-63-009 (68 KB PDF).

Be sure to survey your facilities for hazardous chemicals. Look for products with labels that contain words such as "caution," "warning," or "danger." Don't overlook common consumer products, like bleach or detergents, since they are classified as "hazardous chemicals" when used more frequently or for longer periods of time than what's typical for consumers.

If you plan to apply for an exemption, you still need to pay your fee on time! If your exemption is granted, the fee will be refunded to you.

Department of Labor & Industries
Right to Know Program
P.O. Box 44699
Olympia, Washington 98504-4699

To learn more about what is or isn't a hazardous chemical, check the Scope and Definition sections of the Hazard Communication rule, Chapter 296-901, WAC.

To find sample programs, training materials, and other resources to help you create your company's program, visit the Hazard Communication and GHS web page.

For more information, see the Worker and Community Right-to-Know Fee Assessment Program fact sheet (F413-075-000).

If you have additional questions regarding the Right to Know Fee Assessment program, please contact us:

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