The L&I Blog

Chehalis Dynamite Factory Fire

Photo: Town of Chehalis, early 1900sThe Imperial Powder Company in Chehalis was one of many businesses working to supply dynamite to the booming logging and mining industries. Like companies in other labor-intensive industries, Imperial employed teens from immigrant families. These teens worked long hours in unsafe conditions. Tragedy struck in the factory’s packaging room on November 1, 1911. Part five, and the final, in this series: Chehalis Dynamite Factory Fire.




The Radium Girls: a Deception Brought to Light

Photo: Radium dial painters working in a factory, ca. 1922In 1917, the United States entered World War I and soldiers needed watches and compasses they could use at night. Radium provided the solution. Factories started opening, including the U.S. Radium Corporation. Teen girls were hired to paint the dials and faces of watches and compasses with radium. These workers had to prove the link between their illnesses and the radium... Part four in this series: The Radium Girls.




The Breaker Boys

Photo: Loggers on Break, Washington Territory Views, Circa 1889
by C.E. & Hattie King.In the mid-1800s coal mining and processing were some of the most dangerous occupations. This grueling work offered low wages, forcing many poor families in coal country to send children to work, some as young as 8 years old. Part three in this series tells the story of these children: The Breaker Boys.






A fire that ignited change - the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory

Photo: Loggers on Break, Washington Territory Views, Circa 1889
by C.E. & Hattie King.The Industrial Revolution changed work forever, making it cheaper and faster to make better quality products. Efficiency was the goal, and businesses and government had little incentive to protect workers, until tragedy struck. Part two in this series recalls one of the more well known workplace tragedies: the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire.




Blood, sweat, and trees How L&I came to be

Photo: Loggers on Break, Washington Territory Views, Circa 1889
by C.E. & Hattie King.Labor laws protect some of our most vulnerable community members; children, teens, impoverished workers, and workers who speak limited or no English. In this five part series we’ll take a look at historical cases of unsafe working conditions that helped contribute to improvements in workplace safety we all benefit from today.





Morbid minds want to know: two L&I industrial hygienists share death-care industry tales

Apprenticeship proclamation

Two industrial hygienists at Washington’s Department of Labor & Industries are captivating audiences with tales of mortuaries, crematoriums and graveyards. Though they’re far from Morticia Addams and Lilly Munster, Eva Glosson and Kat Gregersen entertained a room full of other hygienists by sharing their interest in the death care industry.





Number of apprentices in the state reach new record

Apprenticeship proclamationWashington has a new all-time record for the number of people participating in registered apprenticeship programs in the state: 18,947.

The total was reached in late October, according to the state Department of Labor & Industries (L&I). The previous record was 18,379 participants reached in early 2008...





Use L&I’s Secure Message Center for added email security

Email Security Icon Email safety is a hot topic. Scam artists and identity thieves are getting better every day in their quest to steal your personal information.

A phishing email is one designed to look as if it comes from a trusted source, but instead tries to steal your social security number, address, banking information and date of birth...






A prescription for success: UW focused on workplace safety and made it work

Happy workers Cleaning crews are the unsung heroes of our office buildings. Long after we've gone home for the day, they go about the task of cleaning up the messes that weve left behind.

Unfortunately, these workers are vulnerable to a wide range of injuries. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, janitors/custodians suffer more on-the-job injuries than construction laborers...




When Black Friday comes, hold the handrail

Hold the Handrail On Dec. 6, 2012, seven people were injured when an escalator malfunctioned in Macys at Bellevue Square. A Washington State Department of Labor & Industries investigation determined mechanical and maintenance issues caused it to break down.

L&I ordered both Macys and the service company, Schindler, to make repairs before the escalator went back into service. But you dont have to go back that far to see riding an escalator can be hazardous in Washington...



Influenza and the health of your business

Get the Flu Shot Flu season is coming up and its time for business owners to think about your most effective defense against a workplace flu outbreak - the yearly flu vaccination. Vaccinating your staff reduces absenteeism and health care expenses.

Its estimated that the flu costs the U.S. over $87 billion annually and is responsible for the loss of close to 17 million workdays each flu season...




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