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Right To Know Fee Assessment - Exemptions

Do I qualify for an exemption from the Right to Know Program?

There are exemption provisions for employers who do not have hazardous chemicals at the work site. Following is a partial list of common hazardous products to help you determine whether or not you are eligible for an exemption from the Right to Know Fee Assessment.

If your employees use or are exposed to any of these types of products, you may not be eligible for an exemption:

Acids
Adhesives
Battery fluids
Caustics
Cleaning agents
Flammables
Foaming resins
Fuels
Fungicides

Motor oil
Solvents
Lacquers
Detergents
Paints
Pesticides
Shellacs
Degreasing agents
Herbicides

Varnishes
Office copier chemicals*
Janitorial supplies
Wood preservatives
Water treatment chemicals
Insecticides

*Office copier chemicals: If your employees occasionally change sealed, "cartridge type" canisters of chemicals in office machines, they are NOT considered exposed. However, if employees occasionally handle chemicals that are NOT enclosed in cartridges, the employee would be considered exposed and you would not be exempted from the Right to Know Fee Assessment.

Take a look at the chemicals you have in your facilities. Do the labels on the containers contain words such as "CAUTION, WARNING or DANGER"? If so, you may not be eligible for an exemption from the Right to Know Fee Assessment.

Exemptions may be granted in situations where the employer can demonstrate that workplace exposures to the products listed above are the same as normal consumer exposures. Employers will need to demonstrate that the duration and frequency of exposure to employees is NOT GREATER than exposures experienced by consumers.

Example:

An abrasive cleanser occasionally used by employees to clean the lunchroom sink would be considered consumer use. This worksite may be exempt from the Right to Know Fee Assessment. Abrasive cleanser used by janitorial staff daily would represent a level of workplace exposure greater than that experienced by consumers. This worksite will not be exempt from the Right to Know Fee Assessment.


Employers are still obligated to pay the Right to Know Fee Assessment until their exemption request is approved. If you plan to apply for an exemption, you must still send your Right to Know Fee Assessment payment in a timely manner. Your payment will be refunded to you if the worksite is granted an exemption.

To submit your exemption request, fax it to 360-902-5619 or mail it to the following address:

Department of Labor & Industries
Right to Know Program
P.O. Box 44620
Olympia, Washington 98504-4620

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