Master Builder

Spring 2018

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Workers' Comp Risk Class—Getting It Right BY HOLLY MARKEE APPROACH MANAGEMENT SERVICES WHAT IS A WORKERS' COMP RISK CLASS? A risk class refers to the type of activity a business performs. Each class has its own basic insurance rate, and this rate reflects the risk of workplace injury or disease associated with that activity. Rates for dangerous work, like logging, are much higher than those for low-risk activities, like clerical work. See what you pay: Search online for "L&I verify" and use the Verify a Contractor tool to look up the risk classes and rates for your business. WHO ASSIGNS THE CLASS AND WHY? L&I underwriters assign one or more risk classifications based on the nature of business described in your application. These risk classes put your company in categories along with similar Washington state businesses. Your workers' comp rates are then based on these classes and can change each year, depending on the safety performance of your company and others like it. C onstruction business owners know that risk can take many forms. Some companies take a risk to get bigger, like when a painting company also starts to drywall. And some types of work just have more risk than others. A roofer's job is typically more dangerous than an architect's. In Washington state, each company is given one or more risk classes to describe the work that company does and the amount of danger involved. Riskier businesses pay more in taxes, so company owners need to ensure they have the right risk classes. 54 master builder SPRING 2018

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