Proposed decrease in 2019 workers'-comp rates


The Department of Labor & Industries has proposed a decrease for 2019 in workers-comp rates, averaging 5%. For construction risk classes, the proposed changes are between a 2% increase and a 17% decrease. See the proposed new rates here.

AGC of Washington welcomes the proposed decreases and will continue to work to make the state’s workers’ comp system more cost-effective by advocating for no age limit for settlements; accurate time-loss benefit calculations, and better definition and processing for occupational diseases.

If approved, the rate decrease would be the largest drop since 2007. The lower rate would mean employers would pay an average of about $58 less a year per employee for workers' compensation coverage. Employees would pay about $6 less a year for their share of the cost.

The proposed decrease would mean Washington workers and employers, as a group, pay $136 million less in premiums.

The public will have an opportunity to provide input about the rate proposal before a final decision is made in December.

L&I Director Joel Sacks says decreases in work-related injuries, along with L&I initiatives to improve outcomes for injured workers and reduce costs, have made the system healthier and are contributing to the proposed decrease.

"We've seen a big drop in injuries at work in our state since 2012. And that's great news because preventing injuries and making workplaces safe is our number one goal," said Sacks. "Along with that, we're doing a better job helping injured workers heal and return to work. That's good for workers and employers, and helps us lower the cost of workers' compensation coverage."