PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY
LABOR AND INDUSTRIES
[Filed August 21, 2018, 10:25 a.m.]
Subject of Possible Rule Making: SHB 1953 – maximum penalties under the Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act, chapter 296-900 WAC, Administrative rules, WAC 296-900-140 through 296-900-14020.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: This rule making is a result of the recent amendment to RCW 49.17.180
during the 2018 legislative session under chapter 128, Laws of 2018 (SHB 1953). The rule making under consideration will adopt the recent amendment to RCW 49.17.180
which sets up an annual adjustment system retaining the current penalty maximums for all violations and the minimum for willful violations in statute unless required to be higher by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA).
In 2015, Congress passed the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act requiring several federal agencies, including OSHA, adjust their maximum and minimum penalties for inflation on an annual basis. OSHA is required to publish the annual penalty adjustments in rule no later than January 15 of each year and the adjustments are effective upon publication of the rules.
States that operate their own occupational safety and health plans are required to adopt maximum penalty levels that are at-least-as-effective-as federal OSHAs. Therefore, it will not require the department to adjust the current formula used to determine actual civil penalty amounts assessed.
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: Washington is a state plan state under OSHA. As such, Washington assumes responsibility for occupational safety and health in the state under the Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act (WISHA). To maintain its status, Washington's safety and health standards must be at-least-as-effective-as those standards adopted or recognized by OSHA. The department administers WISHA. States that operate their own plans are required to adopt maximum penalty levels that are at-least-as-effective-as the federal OSHAs.
Process for Developing New Rule: Parties interested in the formulation of these rules for proposal may contact the individual listed below. The public may also participate by commenting after amendments are proposed by providing written comments or giving oral testimony during the public hearing process.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Cynthia Ireland, Administrative Regulations Analyst, Department of Labor and Industries, Division of Occupational Safety and Health, P.O. Box 44620-4620 , Olympia, WA 98504-4620, phone 360-902-5522, fax 360-902-5619, email email@example.com, web site www.lni.wa.gov.
August 21, 2018