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Classification 1102-02, -03, and -04

Why your rates have gone up

Here's what you can do to control future costs

The Bottom Line: The injury rate in trucking is more than three times that of all other Washington industries combined. The expense of medical treatment and lost wages together drive up industrial insurance rates for employers and employees in this industry. Employers also experience the expenses associated with lost productivity and their employees feel the effect of lower earnings while recovering from an injury.

The big surprise? Most of these injuries occur outside of trucks, not on the road.

The most common injuries in the trucking industry (risk classification 1102) occur when workers fall or suffer a musculoskeletal injury, typically through overexertion. Falls from elevation injuries are often back or knee strains resulting from falling out of a vehicle. Back sprains are also the most common overexertion injuries, often resulting from lifting boxes or containers. These 2 types of injuries accounted for 63% of all truck-related compensable (compensable claims include partial wage-replacement benefits) claims in the past 5 years.

In Washington State, employers with similar operations and exposures are grouped together in the same workers' compensation risk classification. They pay premiums based on the degree of hazard their workers are exposed to.

Preventing injuries protects your employees and reduces future premiums. Read this Rates Watch for information on safety steps and resources. To learn more about your rates and risk classification, visit L&I's Web site:

Compensable Claims by Injury Type Chart

Cost of Compensable Claims by Injury Type Chart



Risk classifications 1102-02, 1102-03, and 1102-04 represent about 2,400 State Fund-insured employers engaged in intrastate and interstate trucking. These companies currently report hours for industrial insurance that represent about 184,000 full-time employees.

Premium rates

On January 1, 2009, the base premium rate increased from $2.33 per hour per employee to $2.49 (up 6%) while increases for all Washington classes averaged just under 2 cents per hour worked. Employees pay about 19% of the base rate, or $0.47 an hour. Employers' rates can vary from the base rate. They can be higher or lower depending on their claim history and hours reported.

Injuries drive up rates

Injury-prevention efforts begin with an effective safety program. Does yours meet the training and orientation needs of new drivers? How do you keep experienced drivers focused on safe work practices?

For safety training ideas specific to trucking, visit TIRES - Trucking Injury Reduction Emphasis (, a project of L&I's Safety & Health Assessment & Research for Prevention (SHARP) Program. The project identifies hazards in the trucking industry and provides low-cost, simple solutions to prevent injuries. Click on "Publications" to find free safety posters and other training materials for employers and workers.

Increase safety awareness to prevent injuries, control premium costs

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), L&I's Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) and SHARP Program offer the following suggestions for keeping your workers safe.

Teach your drivers to

  • Exit tractor cabs backwards using 3 points of contact.
  • Ask for help when moving heavy or awkward loads.
  • Wear a high-visibility vest when outside the truck/trailer to reduce the possibility of being struck by other vehicles.
  • Stay aware of surroundings and other workers when loading, tarping, and unloading. Using caution during these tasks will help avoid the slips, falls, and "struck by" incidents that account for so many injuries in trucking.
  • Avoid cell phone calls, eating, drinking, or adjusting noncritical vehicle controls while driving.
  • Learn from a "near miss" to understand what happened and how to avoid it.

Create a safe work environment

  • Talk with your employees about safety issues on a regular basis. Hold safety meetings and/or establish a safety committee. Get workers involved. (See WAC 296-17-130, available on our Web site.)
  • Provide each new hire with a safety orientation, including job-specific training.
  • Assign driving-related tasks to young drivers in an incremental fashion. Begin with limited driving responsibilities before they take on unrestricted assignments.
  • Ensure that workers receive the training necessary to operate specialized motor vehicles or equipment.
  • Establish schedules that allow drivers to obey speed limits and follow applicable hours-of-service regulations.
  • Incorporate fatigue-management into safety programs.
  • Keep all areas of your workplace, passageways, storage rooms, and service rooms in a clean, orderly, and sanitary condition to the extent allowed by the nature of your work.
    • Keep floors free of debris (warehouse, docks, trailers, terminal yards, etc.).
    • Use a nonslip coating on all polished floors.
  • Communicate clearly with workers — don't assume they know what you are thinking.

Manage your drivers to protect their safety

  • Establish and enforce mandatory seat-belt use policies.
  • Ensure that no worker is assigned to drive on the job if he or she doesn't have a valid driver's license appropriate for the type of vehicle to be driven.
    • Periodic rechecks after hiring are critical.
  • Set safety policy in accordance with Washington State-graduated commercial driving laws so that company operations do not place younger workers in violation of these laws. Although workers with a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) can drive intrastate at age 18, they need to be 21 years of age before driving interstate.
  • Avoid requiring workers to drive irregular hours or to extend their workday far beyond their normal working hours as a result of driving responsibilities.

Contact us for help

Safety questions

Call Lance Mayhew, Safety Specialist, at:

Claim management questions

Call Dale McMaster, Account Manager, at:

Rate questions

Call Colleen Nelson, Account Manager, at:

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