Elevate your Safety and Health Program: Unlock the path to excellence as a START member!

START, the Safety Through Achieving Recognition Together program, was developed to provide employers with an opportunity to become self-sufficient in managing their safety and health programs. START is open to Washington employers who have been in business for more than one year and have less than 250 employees onsite and no more than 500 employees statewide.

There is no template, no two companies are exactly alike, and no two START companies have gone through the process in exactly the same way. The START process is designed to be flexible enough to “fit” virtually any company, and help the employer determine where they are in managing safety and health.

The list of Graduates and current Certified START employers continues to grow in Washington (see below tab). For an inside look with an employer that recently went through the START certification process take a look at the video below!

Overview and Benefits

START employers partner with L&I to improve their workplace safety culture and reduce hazards, illnesses and injuries. Here are some benefits of becoming a START participant.

  • Reduce your worker compensation insurance premiums.
  • Turnover is costly; increase worker retention.
  • Reduce the number of missed workdays to keep your operations consistent and cost effective.
  • Protect your workers from workplace health and safety hazards.
  • Work with L&I experts to identify and implement safety/health best practices.
  • Develop a custom injury and illness prevention program.
  • In cooperation with workers, develop a safer and healthier work environment.
  • Improve communications throughout all levels of your workplace.
  • Spread the safety and health message and habits to the surrounding community.
  • Receive recognition for achieving START status and for maintaining an exemplary injury and illness prevention program.

START Program Fact Sheet (F417-229-000)


Who can participate?

START is for employers with fewer than 250 workers at a single work site and fewer than 500 at all Washington worksites. Each START certified worksite must be in operation for at least a year and their injury/illness rate must be below the industry average. L&I manages the program.

How do I participate?

  • Fill out a START commitment letter.
  • Request a free full-service safety, health, and risk management consultations from your local L&I consultation office. These are provided at no charge to the employer.
  • Involve employees in the consultation process.
  • Correct all identified hazards.
  • Maintain your company’s Days Away, Restricted, or Transferred (DART) rate and Total Recordable Case (TRC) rate below your industry’s national average.
  • Agree to notify your local consultation office before changing working conditions or processes that could introduce new hazards.

Small businesses that achieve START status will participate in three certification cycles following initial approval. Certification will be granted upon verification that all START requirements continue to be met.

Graduated & Certified Employers

Current Participants

Employer City Initial Certification
Akins Fresh Markets Ritzville 2023
Ameri-cell (Flax4Life) ​ Ferndale​ 2018
Blue Heron Properties Ferndale​ 2019
Chemco ​ Everett​ 2019
Chemco Ferndale 2024
Elite Construction & Development, LLC ​ Pasco 2022
Franz Farms LTD Lind 2023
Gordon Truck Centers​ (Freightliner) ​ Mt. Vernon​ 2021
Harris Rebar Columbia Basin Burbank 2023
Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc. ​ Aberdeen 2022
Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc. ​​ Long Beach 2024
Pape’ Material Handling ​ Yakima​ 2019
Port of Bellingham (Blaine Marina​) Blaine 2020​
Robertson & Olson Construction ​ Vancouver 2023
Robertson & Olson Construction Inc. - Open House Ministries Vancouver 2023
Robertson & Olson Construction Inc. - ​Block 7 Parking Garage Vancouver 2023
Russell Hospitality Inc, Moses Lake 2024
Tidal Vision Products Inc​ Bellingham 2022
Walker Construction Inc. Spokane 2024


Employer City Graduation Year
Papé Machinery, Inc. Kelso 2016
Healthy Pet Ferndale 2019
Henningsen Cold Storage Richland 2018
RAM Construction ​ Bellingham​ 2022
Intefor (CedarPrime) ​​ Sumas 2024
Superfeet Worldwide Inc.. Ferndale 2024

Contact the START Coordinator

4 photos:  Top left is RAM Construction, Top right is Ocean Spray Cranberries, Bottom left is Tidal Vision Products, Bottom right is Elite Construction & Development