GRIP February 2020 Newsletter



OSHA 300 Recordkeeping

ERNwest would like to remind all GRIP members with 11 or more employees that OSHA 300 Summary Reports must be signed and posted February 1April 30. If you have questions about OSHA Recordkeeping, please contact us at

Unified Safety Standards for Fall Protection

The WA State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) filed a CR-102 proposed rulemaking pertaining to chapter 296-880 WAC with the Office of the Code Reviser. The rulemaking proposes to amend several existing sections and create a new chapter. The intent of the proposed rule is to reduce employee exposure to falls. L&I has scheduled four public hearings to solicit comments on the proposed rulemaking. Find a list of dates and locations.


American Heart Association Healthy Heart Month 

Each February the American Heart Association raises awareness about heart health.
Find resources for your team and employees.  


National Burn Awareness Week

Burn Awareness Week is February 2-8, 2020, and is an opportunity to focus on burn, fire and life safety and prevention. Find tips, tools and resources for your teams.  


Suicide Prevention in Construction

According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), construction has the highest suicide rate across all industries. It is about four times greater than the national average and five times greater than that of all other construction fatalities combined. Learn more about suicide prevention in the workplace. 


GRIP Safety

Access Toolbox Tips and general safety resources. Learn more.

Workers’ Comp News


Quicker Recoveries Inspired by Predictive Modeling

Starting in April 2019, L&I began using a predictive modeling system to estimate workers’ compensation claim costs. Called an “early case reserve,” this form of predictive modeling is an industry-standard among insurance companies. It is designed to provide employers and L&I with earlier and more accurate projections for claim costs. With this improvement, employers and their representatives can see estimated reserve values in the Claim & Account Center, usually within 30 days from when a claim is received. The reserve is then updated monthly.


The predictive modeling system uses historical data from more than one million claims spanning 10 years. More than 100 data points are used to calculate an early case reserve, including age, gender, industry, diagnosis code, previous claims, and the number of medical visits. This means that two claims with similar injuries could have different early case reserve estimates.


Identifying potentially high-cost claims is the first step to effective intervention. Research has shown that early and positive contact between an employer and injured worker can help aid recovery and promote early return to work. Depending on the type and severity of an injury, employers may choose to provide a kept-on-salary benefit, which could preserve an employer’s Claim-Free Discount. Additionally, L&I offers reimbursements to employers who bring their employees back to work in medically-approved, light-duty jobs.


For low-cost, medical-only claims, the early case reserve estimate will be used in the class rating, experience rating and retrospective rating systems in the same way manually-created case reserves are today. On the June 1 valuation date for rating purposes, L&I will use the greater of the paid-to-date or reserved amount on open claims if there is a reserve in place. Once the claim closes, L&I will use the paid-to-date or awarded-to-date value. A manual reserve by the Case Reserve Unit will supersede an early case reserve estimate. A manual case reserve can be requested at 9 months post-injury if the claim is still open. Typically, the Case Reserve Unit doesn’t have enough information to provide an accurate manual reserve earlier than 9 months post-injury.


What does this mean for your Retro refund? Although this is a small-scale change, Retro refunds may change in the first year. L&I will use the claims information culled from historical data to help estimate your new refund. The new estimate is more specific than the previous average used.

Upcoming Training


Live GRIP Training

These GRIP-specific trainings benefit new members or members who would like to review the content. Select the dates below for more information and to register. Lunch is provided.


February 4, Bellevue, 10:30am | Getting your GRIP on Claims, Comp & Safety

February 4, Bellevue, 12:30am | Supervising for Safety


ERNwest Webinar Training

Select the dates below for more information about ERNwest-specific trainings and to register.


February 4, Understanding Industrial Insurance Rates* (Webinar)

February 6, Supervising for Safety (Live)

February 18, Fundamentals of Claims Management* (Webinar)

February 25, Providing Kept on Salary and Modified Duty (Webinar)

March 3, Expect the Unexpected: DOSH Compliance and Inspection (Webinar)


View a list of all ERNwest training

Remember to report all incidents on the ERNwest website so that your claims manager is aware and can help guide you through the process. |


GRIP Retro Questions?

Please contact Trish Leimbach, GRIP Group Manager at

(253) 343-0153 |


GRIP Safety Questions? 

Please email our Safety department at

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