WA L&I Reducing Musculosketal Injuries

Washington Labor and Industries (L&I) will implement and enforce measures aimed at reducing work-related musculoskeletal injuries and disorders. In 2003, voters in the state repealed ergonomics standards that went into effect in 2000. The new law was signed by Governor Inslee, on April 20, 2023 (HB 5217) and is set to go into effect on July 23, 2023.

The legislation will apply to industries or risk classifications that have an MSD workers’ compensation claims rate at least twice as high as the state’s overall average for five consecutive years.

L&I will publish a list of industries and risk classifications eligible for rulemaking based on the criteria. The list will identify low-priority industries and risk classifications that will have a rate lower than two times the state average over the next three years.

The law also provides potential funding to employers – not to exceed 2% of the premiums they paid into the state’s Accident Fund in the previous year – to purchase additional equipment that may be needed to comply with adopted ergonomic rules.