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The WSIA Weekly, 9.4.15

September Liaison Committee minutes up

WSIA’s Liaison Committee met with the Department of Labor & Industries’ Self-Insurance program leadership yesterday, and covered a broad range of topics from staffing and performance updates to the upcoming SIRAS computer system, to fraud detection and prevention, to other claims management issues. A couple notable matters in particular included a discussion over an issue raised by the Social Security Administration whether settlement payments made by structured settlement agreements must be offset against social security benefits and an issue raised by worker advocates whether the Department has legal authority to issue interlocutory orders. Take a look at the minutes here, and a scan of the supporting handouts from the meeting here.   

WISHA Advisory Committee Meeting next week
The state’s WISHA Advisory Committee meets next Thursday September 10th at 9:00 a.m. at the Department of Labor & Industries’ Tumwater Headquarters. The agenda includes an update on occupational safety and health rulemaking, SHIP grants, research and appeal updates, as well as a discussion of recent significant DOSH inspections and consultations. The agenda also includes a discussion of the Department’s press release process when a safety citation is levied, something that has been a contentious issue in the past. Take a look at the agenda here – the meetings are open to the public.  

Higher WISHA penalties now in effect – to be discussed at Fall Conference
Speaking of WISHA, the Department’s rulemaking to change the methodology by which it imposes penalties for safety violations went into effect on September 1. In just the previous fiscal year, Labor & Industries’ inspections resulted in 13,423 total violations and $7.7 million in penalties issued statewide. DOSH Deputy Craig Blackwood will be joining us on September 25th at our Fall Conference – Key Into Safety – to present on common issues found in DOSH inspections and consultations, and how to avoid them. Now more than ever, the cost of non-compliance is high. Read more about the penalties issue here, and check out registration for our Fall Conference here. If you are attending the conference, e-mail us questions in advance that you might like Crag to cover about DOSH inspections/consultations – he has agreed to work them into his presentation.  

Advance questions for next week’s webinars?
Also next week, we’re holding a webinar on Wednesday morning from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. updating members on changes to the Labor Market Survey methodology for vocational rehabilitation planning, and on Thursday morning from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m. on self-insurance penalties for benefit delays/denials. Take a look at the foregoing links for more information on the presentations. Speakers for both webinars will consider questions submitted in advance during the presentation, so if you’re registering for either and would like to submit a question, please e-mail Patrick Koenig at this link.

WSIA office reopens Tuesday 9/8
Our office will be closed Monday in observance of Labor Day, and back in service on Tuesday. We wish you a very happy and safe holiday weekend.