GRIP November 2019 Newsletter


Compliance and Citation News

Evergreen State College was fined $135,000 for multiple asbestos violations. Learn more.

Silica Dust Hazard Alert

Stone fabrication workers at risk–Exposure to silica dust from cutting and grinding engineered stone countertops has caused severe lung disease to workers in Washington State. Learn more.

Driver Safety

Fall weather in the Pacific Northwest can be hazardous, especially during the dark, rainy season. Basic safety checks of wiper blades, tire tread and brake pads are important parts of proactive driving. Learn what is required in Washington State.

Upcoming Safety Webinars

OSHA 300 Recordkeeping Nuts & Bolts. Over the last few years, there have been changes to the Recordkeeping rules. This webinar will cover the “Nuts & Bolts” of the process to ensure you remain compliant.

GRIP Toolbox Tips

Access toolbox tips and general safety resources. Learn more.

GRIP Safety Survey

We would like to hear from you. Please take 30-seconds to complete the GRIP SAFETY SURVEY and let us know what is important to you and your business. 

Workers’ Comp News


Lower Your EMF and Save

With Fall comes football, a new school year and your first look at your 2020 industrial insurance rates. Labor & Industries (L&I) recently released preliminary base rates for each of Washington’s 300 industrial insurance risk classifications, and will send notification on final rates in December.


The base rates vary by risk class and reflect how much risk is inherent in each type of work. How much of this base rate you pay is determined by your company’s workers’ compensation experience, also known as your Experience Modification Factor (EMF). L&I is looking at the hours and claims reported by your company from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2018 to better understand how much loss you are likely to incur next year. From there, they will determine how much premium they need to collect to pay for those losses.


There are things you can do now to lower your EMF in future years and lower the amount of premium you’ll need to pay for your industrial insurance.

  1. Build a strong safety program. Safety is the most proactive thing an employer can do to improve workers’ compensation performance. Avoiding injuries lowers your overall premium and helps maximize your refunds, if you participate in the Retrospective Rating (Retro) program.
  2. When injuries happen, return your employees back to work as quickly as medically advised. Time away from work is detrimental to you, your employees and your bottom line. By bringing people quickly back to work, you can lower claim costs, lower your insurance premiums, increase your Retro refunds and qualify for money back from L&I.

For more information and training on how industrial insurance rates are determined, please sign up for one of our upcoming trainings.


If you want to know more about how to lower your industrial insurance premium, please contact your ERNwest claim manager or group manager.


Upcoming Training

November 12, 2019 Getting your GRIP on Claims, Comp and Safety

November 12, 2019 Red Flags on Workers’ Compensation Claims, with Karen Forner

Select the dates above to sign up for GRIP-specific trainings.

View a list of other ERNwest training including:

November 5, 2019 Understanding Industrial Insurance Rates*

November 19, 2019 Fundamentals of Claims Management*

November 26, 2019 Using Kept on Salary and Modified Duty Effectively

L&I News


L&I Proposes New Workers’ Comp Rates in 2020

L&I proposes a 0.8% decrease and attributes several factors, including declining workplace injury rates along with L&I initiatives that promote early recovery. If adopted, individual employers may see smaller or larger drops depending on the employer’s industry and claims history. Attend one of three public hearings starting October 29. (Read more)

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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