Three out of five industries considered for ergonomic rulemaking are linked to retail

Mar 21, 2024
Written by WR Communications

The passage of ESSB 5217 in 2023 the Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) to adopt rules for one industry or risk classification in any 12-month period will take effect on July 1, 2026. After a short two-week criteria solicitation, L&I announced the five industries/risk classes selected for rulemaking potentials and their compensable musculoskeletal rate on March 15.

*Compensable claims involve wage replacement for lost work time (four or more days), total/partial permanent disability, fatality, or a worker kept on salary by the employer during short-term disability.

L&I will be reviewing this data with the WISHA Advisory Committee and the Workers Compensation Advisory Committee (WCAC) over the next few weeks. L&I’s goal is to select the industry/risk class for rulemaking by May 1, 2024, and initiate rulemaking in July 2024. The legislation requires L&I to convene an advisory committee during rulemaking with an equal number of employers and workers in the impacted industry/risk class.

During this legislation’s passage, WR advocated to secure ergonomic consultation assistance for businesses. Since ergonomic rulemaking is unprecedented, the type of assistance to be provided is still in the process of development. An industry showing a downward trend in the rate of such claims greater than the statewide average could be a mitigating factor in L&I’s selection consideration. Therefore, it is crucial for businesses in these five industry/risk classes to mitigate musculoskeletal injuries proactively to lower their rate trend.

Retailers in these selected industries are encouraged to contact L&I for ergonomics consultation HERE


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