Drywall risk classes and record keeping

Drywall by square foot

New drywall is reported by square foot in these risk classes not by hours worked.

  • Installation in classification 0550
    • Discounted installation in classification 0540
  • Taping, mudding, sanding, and texture in classification 0551
    • Discounted taping, mudding, sanding, and texture in classification 0541

The square footage purchased must be reported in both the installation and taping classifications.

  • Square footage purchased can be found on the invoice from your material supplier
    • If you didn’t purchase the wallboard, request a copy of the invoice from the contractor who supplied the wallboard

Discounted drywall rates - Steps to get the discounted drywall rates are in the Discounted Drywall Rates tab.

Taking deductions - Steps to lower the amount of square footage you must report are in the Taking Deductions tab.

Risk classes reported by hour
Some of the common risk classes for the drywall industry that are reported by hour:

  • Stocking and delivery in classification: 1101
  • Metal studs or remodeling in classification: 0516
  • Mobile/modular home installation in classification: 0517
  • Only texturing and priming in classification: 0521

If you have workers working in multiple risk classes you must

  • Keep time records showing when a worker worked in each risk class, or
  • Report all of their hours in the higher rated risk class.

Records you must keep for drywall installation or finishing

  • Worker records:
    • Full name
    • Social Security number
    • Dates of employment
    • Risk class worked in
    • Basis of pay
    • Gross & net pay earned
    • Time records with days and hours worked
    • Records of square feet of drywall installed or finished
    • Workers’ withholdings
  • Subcontractor records:
    • UBI number
    • Legal name
    • Contractor registration number and expiration date
    • If you supply materials to the subcontractor:
      • Type of material
      • Square footage of material
      • Date material supplied
      • Project name & location
      • Date work was completed
  • Jobsite records:
    • Job names and locations
    • Square footage of wallboard purchased for each job
    • Owner hours, by job and by risk class
    • Workers’ hours, by job and by risk class
    • Square footage processed by subcontractors, by job and by risk class

Avoid prime contractor liability

To protect your business from paying your subcontractor’s unpaid workers’ compensation premiums you must:

  • Make sure the subcontractor meets the definition of an independent contractor as outlined in the Independent Contractor Guide and in RCW 51.08.180, RCW 51.08.181, and RCW 51.08.195.
  • Verify that you and your subcontractors are properly registered and/or licensed by using our Verify a Contractor tool.
    • If you have a specialty license, you cannot subcontract out any work.
  • Confirm the work is described as contractor work in RCW 18.27.010.
  • Verify that your subcontractor has a workers’ compensation account in good standing by using our Verify a Contractor tool. Using this tool you can:
    • Print a copy of their employer liability certificate. This copy is good for a year.
    • Complete a subcontractor Tracking Request form and we will notify you if your subcontractor falls behind on workers compensation requirements
Worker withholding

Worker withholding for drywall installation or finishing

The 3 ways you can calculate the amount to withhold from a worker's pay to fund the cost of workers’ compensation are:

  • Actual square footage processed
    • We recommend you use this method. You must keep accurate records of the actual square footage each worker processes.
  • 125 sq. ft. per hour method
    • You may use the 125 sq. ft. per hour method to calculate the amount to withhold IF the total square footage calculated in this method isn’t more than the amount purchased.
  • Worker percentage worked method
    • Only use this method if the total calculated using the 125 sq. ft. method is more than the amount purchased.
Rates in this table are not actual rates and are ONLY for these examples
Actual Square Footage processed example
  • You purchased 2,500 square feet of drywall
  • Steve has installed 1,500 square feet of drywall
  • Your drywall payroll deduction rate is $0.01230 per square foot for the installation risk class of 0550

Multiply the payroll deduction rate by the amount processed by the employee:
1,500 sq. ft. x $0.01230 = $18.45.

The payroll deduction for Steve would be $18.45
125 sq ft per Hour method example
  • You purchased 2,500 square feet of drywall for the job
  • Joe does not know the amount of square footage he processed
  • Joe worked 8 hours installing drywall on this job
  • *Use 125 sq. ft. per hour to calculate the payroll deduction*
  • Your drywall payroll deduction rate is $0.01230 per square foot for installation in risk class 0550:

Multiply 125 sq. ft. by the hours worked:
125 sq. ft. x 8 hours = 1,000 total sq. ft.

Then multiply that number by the payroll deduction rate:
1,000 x $0.01230 = $12.30

The payroll deduction for Joe would be $12.30
Worker Percentage Worked method example
  • You purchased 12,500 square feet of drywall for the job
  • You have 4 employees working the job
  • Joe and Mary worked 45 hours each
  • Zoey and Steve worked 15 hours each

Add all the hours worked together:
45 (Joe) + 45 (Mary) + 15 (Zoey) + 15 (Steve) = 120 total hours worked

Divide the hours worked by each employee by the total hours worked to find the percent worked by each employee:
45 ÷ 120 = 0.375 (37.5% of the total hours)
15 ÷ 120 = 0.125 (12.5% of the total hours)

Multiply this percent by total sq. ft. purchased and the payroll deduction rate to find the payroll deduction for each employee:
The payroll deduction for Joe and Mary would each be:
0.375 x 12,500 x 0.01230 = $57.66

The payroll deduction for Zoey and Steve would each be:
0.125 x 12,500 x 0.01230 = $19.22
Taking Deductions

The same amount of square footage purchased needs to be reported in both the installation and taping classifications, unless:

  • A legitimate subcontractor performs some of the work.
  • The owner does some of the work and submits an owner deduction form.
  • The owner installs (and scraps) and finishes (tape, texture and prime) the project without the help of any workers.
  • The firm reports install phase in one quarter & the taping phase in the next quarter (reporting square feet in the quarter the phase was completed).

Types of deductions

The two types of deductions you can take from the amount of square feet reported are:

  • Owner deduction
  • Subcontractor deduction


  • Don't deduct material scrapped by you or your employees
  • Don’t deduct material only scrapped or primed and textured by subcontractors
  • Don’t deduct footage from the taping classification that was left unfinished, for example:
    • The base layer on a multi-board application (like in a movie theater)
    • An unfinished room (like a basement or garage)

Owner Deduction

Note: If you have elected to have owner coverage then you can’t take an owner deduction, and the owner’s hours and/or square footage are included for workers’ compensation coverage.

IF the owner and workers worked side by side, follow these four steps to determine owner and worker exposure for drywall activities :
  1. Add the owner's hours to the workers' hours to get the total hours
  2. Divide the owner's hours by the total hours to get the percent of owner deduction
  3. Multiply the percentage from step two by the total job square footage to get the owner square footage
  4. Subtract the owner square footage from the total job square footage to get the reportable square footage you need for the quarterly report form
IF your owners worked the entire taping or entire installation: You can deduct the full amount for the installation or taping by reporting all of the square footage in the owner’s field on the Owner/Subcontractor Report for that job

Subcontractor deductions You may deduct work processed by the subcontractor from your total square footage purchased in the risk classification the work was performed.

Note: Material that is only scrapped or only primed and textured by subcontractors can’t be deducted.

In order to deduct, you must:
  • Keep business records that support the footage processed by the subcontractor
  • Complete the “Owner/Subcontractor Report” along with the Quarterly Report
Records you must keep to deduct work processed by the subcontractor:
  • Subcontractors' UBI
  • L&I account number
  • Contractors' Registration number
  • All subcontractor invoices/contracts that shows the amount of deductible square footage
Reporting for drywall

Claim and Account Center

Drywall industry owner/subcontractor report

Complete the drywall industry owner/subcontractor report if there was any owner or subcontractor activity during the reporting period.

Information you’ll need to prepare the Owner/Subcontractor Report:

  • Job names and locations
  • Square footage purchased for each job
  • Owner hours (by job and classification)
  • Employees’ hours (by job and classification)
  • Subcontractor footage (by job and classification)

You must do two things:

  1. Keep daily time records for the owner and employees to substantiate the percent of owner deduction.
  2. Determine total square footage for each job. To do this you must:
    • Compute owner deduction.
    • Determine subcontractor square footage worked installing and taping.
      • This includes drywall board purchased and also provided by others such as a general contractor.

Discounted drywall rates supplemental quarterly report

Gather the following information you’ll need to prepare the supplemental quarterly report for the drywall industry:

  • Workers' names
  • Social Security numbers
  • Gross wages
  • Basis for pay (piece work, hourly, etc.)
  • Risk classes and rates per unit/hour (you can find this on your annual rate notice or using the Verify a Contractor tool)
  • Work performed (this is required for businesses reporting in the discounted classifications)

Fill in the report, listing all employees who worked for your business for the period being reported.

Quarterly reports for drywall

Reporting options:

  • Report the square footage of drywall purchased during the quarter, or
  • Report the square footage on each project completed during the quarter

Note: You must use the same reporting method each quarter

  • You will file the grand total square footage for both the installation and taping
  • If you have used any sub contractors, an owner deduction, or have discounted rates, you will be required to file additional supplemental reporting as well as a Quarterly Report
  • 125 sq ft per hour withholding method can’t be used to calculate premiums
What to report Example
Square feet your business purchased 2,500 sq ft
+ +
Square feet your business installed 1,000 sq ft
- -
Square feet subcontracted 1,500 sq ft
- -
Square feet owner installed (if qualified) 500 sq ft
= =
Total square footage reported in both installation and taping drywall risk classes 1,500 sq ft

Risk classes reported by hour (for example stocking or metal stud installation)

Multiply the total hours your workers worked by your rate for the appropriate risk class or use the Claim and Account Center.

Discounted drywall rates

Getting discounted rates

  • Call your account manager at 360-902-4817 and schedule a training.
  • Send us your signed certificate provided during training.
  • Have a risk management consultation by visiting Request a Consultation.

Reporting in discounted rates

  • File additional supplemental reports each quarter that list all employees who worked for the business for the period of time reported. See the Reporting for Drywall tab for details on record keeping requirements.
  • To keep discounted rates you must complete all supplemental reports, report correctly, and keep your account in good standing.

Keeping discounted rates

Losing discounted rates

Your business will lose discounted rates if your business doesn't keep the required records, submit the required supplemental reports, and keep your workers' compensation accounts in good standing. If you losing your discounted rates, your business will not be able to reapply for up to 3 years.