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Get to Know: WA State Department of Labor & Industries


The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) is a state agency dedicated to the safety, health, and security of Washington’s 3.3 million workers. They help employers meet safety and health standards, and inspect workplaces when alerted to hazards.

As an administrator of the state’s workers’ compensation system, they provide medical and limited wage-replacement coverage to workers who suffer job-related injuries and illness. L&I rules and enforcement programs help ensure workers are paid what they are owed, that children’s and teens’ work hours are limited, and that consumers are protected from unsound building practices.

For years, WA State L&I has been a supportive partner of Business Impact NW from Celebrating Dreams, to classes, and more in our work with small businesses.

“I love attending Business Impact NW’s inspiring events. It’s wonderful to witness what the organization offers to its clients,” said Joyce Allen, L&I’s Education & Outreach Director. “I specialize in Educational Outreach for the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I). Having knowledge is the win-win of any successful business. I love helping Washington businesses learn about the Incentive Programs L&I has for their on-the-job injury claims. Thanks to Business Impact NW’s events, I’ve met with [many] clients that were thrilled to learn how they can reduce their premiums. Many have saved thousands of dollars while getting cash back after an on-the-job injury occurs. It’s an Outreach Specialist’s honor to help someone learn what they don’t know or understand about Worker’s Compensation Insurance.”

Business Impact NW partners with state agencies like L&I to provide outreach, education, and assistance to small businesses operating in Washington State. Specifically, through integrating their services into current training programs, developing new on-demand trainings, and creating more visibility through communications and coaching.

Where to Begin

L&I has several divisions that provide services for businesses and protect the well-being of the state’s workers.

L&I’s Small Business Liaison Office is a great starting point for small businesses. In addition to Small Business Liaisons who can help with questions and assistance, they offer a wealth of resources covering various business and employer essentials in addition to free workshops/trainings and a small business newsletter which you can subscribe to for the latest updates.

The Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) administers the Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act (WISHA) law by developing and enforcing rules that protect workers from hazardous job conditions.

Additionally,  L&I’s Consultation Program offers confidential, no-fee, professional advice and assistance to Washington businesses. Business owners can request consultations to ensure that their business meets all required standards, find and fix hazards in the workplace and strengthen safety programs. Each year, the division conducts about 2,500 free, on-site safety and health consultations for employers who request their help complying with these rules in their unique workplaces. This service can help create a safer and healthier work environment and can enhance job performance and productivity. As a result, businesses may see reduced absences and avoid short- or long-term disabilities.

More to L&I

The Claims Division oversees benefits to workers who are injured or become ill on the job. They also work closely with doctors, employers, and counselors to help severely injured employees return to paid employment.

Also, L&I is responsible for enforcing child labor laws, as well as laws that protect workers’ wages and working conditions. Their technical experts protect the public by inspecting electrical work, boilers, elevators, and manufactured homes. L&I tests and license electricians, certify plumbers, and register construction contractors – requiring them to be insured and bonded.

Lastly, the L&I Licensing & Permits Division provides the testing and licensing necessary to become electricians, plumbers, and construction contractors. They also issue permits for public projects and inspections for services including electrical, plumbing, and elevators among others. This is a helpful division for any service upgrades that might require permitting.

Learn more about L&I and how your business can benefit from their services:

Knowing the Rules: WA State Labor Standards – Workers’ Rights

Knowing the Rules: WA State Labor Standards – Workers’ Compensation

Business Expert Session: Workers’ Rights & Safety for WA State Food & Farm Businesses

Fina an L&I Office Location Here

Discover Incentives That Might Save You Money Here

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