WSR 06-01-071




[ Filed December 20, 2005, 9:47 a.m. ]

     Subject of Possible Rule Making: Chapter 296-17 WAC, General reporting rules, classifications, audit and recordkeeping, rates and rating system for workers compensation insurance.

     Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 51.16.035.

     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 that classifies all occupations or industries within the state and sets basic rates of premium for these classifications that are distributed fairly (RCW 51.16.035).

     Some employers have expressed confusion about the meaning of references in chapter 296-17 WAC to "farm labor contractors." The purpose of this rule making is to modify those references to clarify the department's current practice of assigning classifications based on the type of crop, livestock or machinery without changing how agricultural employment is classified.

     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 will solicit input from the business community by way of direct mailings, the internet, and/or informal public meetings. Labor and industries will use this input to formulate proposed changes to the existing rules and advise customers of future rule making by direct mailing and/or the internet.

     Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication. Labor and industries will mail letters with ideas on possible rule changes to affected employers. Employers will be encouraged to participate in the process to share ideas and/or attend meetings. Employers can obtain information on our process at the employer services web site and can submit comments electronically to or by calling (360) 902-4774 or fax (360) 902-4729.

December 20, 2005

Gary Weeks