WSR 02-13-117

PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY

DEPARTMENT OF

LABOR AND INDUSTRIES

[ Filed June 19, 2002, 9:00 a.m. ]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: Chapter 296-17 WAC, General reporting rules, classifications, audit and recordkeeping, rates and rating system for Washington workers' compensation insurance, this filing modifies the workers' compensation premium rates, expected loss tables, experience rating plan, and retrospective rating rules.

Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 51.16.035, 51.04.020(1), and 51.18.010.

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: 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 respective with the hazard of each industry, and to adjust these rates annually or more frequently if needed to ensure solvency of the insurance trust funds. Labor and industries is also required by law to offer optional rating plans to employers as a further incentive to encourage workplace safety and accident prevention. The plan is periodically updated to reflect changes in premium size ranges and other factors.

Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: No other state, local or federal agency regulates this subject.

Process for Developing New Rule: Labor and industries bases its 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. Labor and industries will work with the Workers' Compensation Advisory Committee and Retrospective Rating Advisory Committee on all changes to the premium and group insurance rates.

Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication. Labor and industries has tentatively scheduled four formal public hearings. Hearings are to be held at the Spokane labor and industries office on October 28, at 10 a.m., Everett labor and industries office on October 29, at 10 a.m., Tukwila labor and industries office on October 30, at 10 a.m., and the Tumwater labor and industries central office building on November 1, at 10 a.m. Inquiries can be directed to Ken Woehl of the classification services section at (360) 902-4775.

June 19, 2002

Gary Moore

Director

Washington State Code Reviser's Office