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PDFWAC 296-06-040

Operations and procedures.

The general operations and procedures of the department's five divisions are summarized below. For more information, go to:
(1) Insurance services.
This division administers Washington's workers' compensation program—Medical care and disability benefits for workers who are injured on the job. Every business with employees must provide this coverage. L&I administers the "state fund," which covers the majority of the state's workers. Through its self-insurance program, it also monitors coverage offered by large companies that choose to self-insure and manage their own claims.
This division includes all of the workers' compensation programs that:
• Manage injured worker claims;
• Bill employers for their required quarterly premiums;
• Pay health care (and other) providers for their services.
The division also:
• Sets workers' compensation rates;
• Helps employers control their premiums through a variety of financial incentive, claims management, return-to-work and safety programs;
• Administers the department's crime victims compensation program, which covers those who are injured as a result of criminal acts.
More information is available at
(2) WISHA services.
This division administers the Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act (WISHA), under a state plan agreement with the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). It aids in the prevention of job injuries and illnesses by adopting and enforcing safety and health standards and by training employers and employees in safe working procedures.
Through the RCW, the legislature has directed L&I to administer and enforce three additional programs. These programs are also handled by WISHA:
• Asbestos, including certifications and notifications of asbestos projects;
• Explosives, regulating the possession, handling, and use of explosives or explosive devices;
• Worker and community right to know, which provides a way of communicating information regarding hazardous substances in the workplace and the community.
Employer and employee procedures and responsibilities, and information about voluntary consultations to improve workplace safety can be found on the internet at Information about reporting workplace accidents to OSHA can be found on the internet at
(3) Specialty compliance services.
This division encompasses several diverse programs related to the construction trades, workplace rights, and apprenticeship. Its programs' duties include:
• Registering contractors to ensure they are bonded and insured.
• Licensing electrical contractors and elevator mechanics.
• Certifying plumbers and electricians.
• Regulating and inspecting:
– Electrical installations.
– Boilers and pressure vessels.
– Factory assembled structures.
– Elevators and other conveyances.
Employment standards program:
Develops and enforces rules regulating wages (including prevailing wages for public works projects) and hours, and working conditions, including those for teenagers.
Apprenticeship program:
Administers the state's apprenticeship training laws and policies.
(4) Operations.
This area includes several internal support divisions including administrative services, information services, the office of human resources, and fraud prevention and compliance.
Fraud prevention and compliance:
This division encompasses several diverse programs related to the prevention of abuse in the workers' compensation system. Its programs include:
• Audit.
• Collections.
• Detection and tracking.
• Firm appeals.
• Investigations.
• Significant employer cases.
(5) Field services.
This division provides the agency with local department program service throughout its service locations in six geographic regions of Washington.
[Statutory Authority: Chapter 43.17 RCW, RCW 42.17.250 (1)(a) and (c), 42.17.290, 51.04.020, 51.04.030, and 2005 c 483. WSR 05-13-151, § 296-06-040, filed 6/21/05, effective 7/22/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 51.04.020(4) and 51.04.030. WSR 90-07-004, § 296-06-040, filed 3/9/90, effective 4/9/90; Order 76-27, § 296-06-040, filed 9/28/76; Order 73-12, § 296-06-040, filed 7/31/73.]
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