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L&I to Take Public Comments on New Workplace Safety Law

The Department of Labor & Industries plans to host two separate hearings for public comment on a draft rule that would require employers to attend to major safety hazards immediately after receiving an L&I citation, even if that business appeals L&I’s citation. The only exceptions given would be if a stay is granted to an employer by L&I or the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals.

Within Washington State, businesses that receive citations for violating workplace safety regulations have fifteen days in which they can appeal the citation to L&I.  Under the present regulations, if a business appeals their citation, that have no requirement to correct the hazards for which they have been cited until after that appeal has been resolved. Needless to say, this process can go on for months or even years, as L&I does not exactly operate as the most efficient government agency.

During the 2011 Washington Legislative session, representatives passed ESSB 5068, which directs L&I to carry out a rule that requires employers to fix safety hazards related to serious violations, even in the case of an appeal, unless a stay is granted.

A proposed rule has been drafted to enact this legislative decision, and provides for stay of abatement requests.

L&I posted the following information on its website:

Public hearings on the draft rule are:

Written comments will be accepted until 5 p.m., Dec. 7. Send comments to Devin Proctor at:

Email: Devin.Proctor@Lni.wa.gov
Fax: 360-902-5619

Mail: Department of Labor & Industries, P.O. Box 44620, Olympia, WA 98504
Hand delivery: L&I, 7273 Linderson Way SW, Tumwater, WA

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Emery Reddy