Thursday, May 20, 2010

Wrong Risk Classifications Reported for Workers Compensation

The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) is reviewing all public works contracts awarded within the last three years.  

Back Premiums Due by Some Contractors:  In the process, they have noted some contractors have been reporting and paying on incorrect risk classification categories based on the work performed.  Those contractors are now being required to pay back premiums for workers compensation to reflect the correct risk classifications.

Contractors Advised to Contact L&I Before Bidding:  L&I issued a statement on May 11, 2010 recommending that contractors contact their Industrial Insurance Employer Services account manager before bidding any public works project to verify that the "Industrial Insurance risk classification assigned to their account matches the work specified in the contract." 

L&I's May 11, 2010 Statement:  The following is an excerpt from L&I's May 11, 2010 statement:
Contracts that involve tunneling, drilling, bridge work, boring, shoring, pipe laying, landscaping, masonry, concrete, brick work, paver work, gate, fence, electrical and demolition work seem to be the contracts most reviewed.  Reason: There can be more than one Industrial Insurance risk classification that defines the work listed above. Also, the overall project can dictate which risk classification is appropriate. The above list is not all inclusive. Please contact your Industrial Insurance Employer Services account manager to verify your firm’s risk classifications with the proposed public works contract. Have the account manager document your conversation, the project discussed, and the appropriate risk classification for the discussed project.

Do not confuse Industrial Insurance risk classifications with Prevailing Wage scope of work classifications. They are not the same and often do not correlate. Please remember, using the correct Industrial Insurance Risk Classification(s) does not change your responsibility to also use the correct Prevailing Wage scope of work classifications for Prevailing Wage Intent and Affidavit reporting purposes.

Your Industrial Insurance Employer Services account manager’s phone number appears on your quarterly report, or you may call (360) 902-4817 to be transferred to your Industrial Insurance account manager.
Resources:  The following websites contain resources about Industrial Insurance:
  • Information about L&I's Workers Compensation program may be found on their website.

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