Safety Through Achieving Recognition Together (START)

Three women and one man inside a building with fluorescent lights, and a woman in a purple sweater holds a certificate
Work Force Development Center was presented their START certificate on January 7, 2015.

Learn how your business can achieve START status through a program that recognizes occupational safety and health excellence and leads to a safer workplace, lower costs, improved morale, and community recognition.

What are the benefits for START companies?

There are benefits for both employers and employees:

  • Employers lower their costs.
  • Employees come home safe after work.
  • Employers and employees work together cooperatively.
  • Employers receive a comprehensive, no-charge safety and health consultation from the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I).

And there’s more. Being a START work site

  • lets you establish a positive working relationship with L&I’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH),
  • gives you an exemption from routine inspections,
  • helps establish a competitive advantage by being recognized as a safety-conscious company, and
  • leads to enhanced public recognition.

What are the program requirements?

The START program is open to employers operating work sites in Washington State and is administered by the Department of Labor & Industries. Employers with fewer than 50 workers at a specific work site and not more than 250 at all work sites within Washington State are the primary focus for this program. Additionally, employers must be in operation for at least one year at the particular work site that is being considered for a START certification. The employer’s injury/illness rate for the preceding year must also be below their industry’s average for the location being considered for START.

To participate, you need to

  • request a full service safety and health consultation from your local L & I Consultation office that will involve a comprehensive review of your company’s safety and health program;
  • involve employees in the consultation process;
  • submit a START commitment letter (37 KB DOC);
  • correct all hazards identified by the consultant;
  • maintain your company’s Days Away, Restricted, or Transferred (DART) rate and Total Recordable Case (TRC) rate below the national average for your industry; and
  • agree to notify your local consultation office prior to making any changes in the working conditions or processes that may introduce new hazards into the workplace.

How does the START approval process work?

Businesses that achieve START status will be approved for a period of 1 year initially with 2 additional renewals possible of 18 months than 24 months. Companies that successfully complete the final 24 months will be eligible for graduation from START.

What are the current START sites?

Company Address City Number of Employees Certification Year
Papé Machinery, Inc. 2504 Talley Way Kelso 8 January, 2011
City of Anacortes Water Treatment Plant 14489 Riverbend Road Mt. Vernon 10 September, 2011
Henningsen Cold Storage 2025 Saint StreetRichland 25 January, 2014
Bayley Construction – Corporate Office 8005 SE 28th St Ste 100Mercer Island 40 January, 2014
Bayley Construction – Equipment Yard 13330 SE 30thBellevue 2 January, 2014
Work Force Development Center 11215 47th Ave W Mukilteo 88 October, 2014
Healthy Pet 6960 Salashan Parkway Ferndale 65 December, 2014

Other links

How do I learn more about the START program?

To learn more, contact the START coordinator:

START Coordinator
Division of Occupational Safety & Health
Department of Labor & Industries

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