WSR 97-15-140




[Filed July 23, 1997, 10:46 a.m.]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: Chapter 296-17 WAC, workers' compensation premium rates, expected loss tables, and experience rating plan.

Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 51.16.035 and 51.04.020(1).

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: The Department of Labor and Industries is required by law to establish and maintain a workers' compensation classification plan and set premium rates in accordance with recognized principles of insurance. By law the plan is to recognize the hazardous nature of each industry and assign insurance rates commensurate with the hazard of each industry. The Department of Labor and Industries is required to adjust these rates annually or more frequently if needed to ensure solvency of the insurance trust funds.

Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: None.

Process for Developing New Rule: The Department of Labor and Industries bases insurance rates for each industry on the loss and reporting information supplied by employers. Industries whose employers have had an improved loss record from the previous evaluation period will as a general rule experience a reduction in rates while industries whose employers experienced an increase in losses will generally see their insurance rates increase. The Department of Labor and Industries will also evaluate the need for an overall rate adjustment for all industries.

Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication. The Department of Labor and Industries has scheduled two formal public hearings. The first hearing is to be held at the Department of Labor and Industries central office building in Tumwater, Washington. This hearing will take place at 10 a.m. on November 3, 1997. A second hearing will take place at the Spokane Department of Labor and Industries Office on November 6, 1997, at 10 a.m. Inquiries can be directed to Frank Romero, Ken Woehl or Gary Brown of the Classification Services Unit at (360) 902-4776.

July 23, 1997

Dorette M. Markham


for Gary Moore


Legislature Code Reviser


Washington State Code Reviser's Office