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Sept. 25, 2003

L&I gets high marks for safety and health inspections, consultations

TUMWATER — Inspectors from the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) often arrive at a workplace unannounced to conduct a safety investigation prompted by a worker complaint or workplace injuries. Employers may not always appreciate the interruption, but a recent customer survey finds that most employers give L&I high marks for safety and health inspections and consultations.

The Gilmore Research Group of Seattle surveyed 600 employers who had received services between October 2001 and September 2002 from L&I’s WISHA (Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act) program. Of those who had been subject to compliance inspections, 83 percent responded positively to the services received by inspectors.

Additionally, 97 percent of employers who used WISHA’s consultation services gave the agency high marks. In those instances, the employer invites an L&I representative into the workplace to consult on safety and health issues.

Respondents who were not completely satisfied frequently mentioned the lack of industry knowledge or depth of knowledge about a particular law.

The latest survey findings were nearly identical to a baseline survey conducted in February 2000. The Gilmore surveys are part of an ongoing effort by L&I to improve customer service.

“I’m very pleased to see such positive responses from the employer community to the way WISHA consultants and inspectors are doing their jobs,” said L&I Director Paul Trause. “We’ll be working hard to ensure that we continue this level of quality service and to improve in the areas where our staff may need more training.”

The complete survey is online at www.LNI.wa.gov/wisha/pdf/GilmoreWishaSurvey7-3-03.pdf.

The WISHA program conducts about 7,000 compliance inspections and 2,000 consultations each year.

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For media information: Elaine Fischer, 360-902-5413 or nele235@LNI.wa.gov.

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