Ergonomics Initiative


Per 2023 Senate Bill ESSB 5217, L&I will be pursuing rulemaking to prevent workplace musculoskeletal disorders. The process starts with publication of an annual list of industries and risk classification eligible to be covered by the new rules.  L&I will then select the industry from this list for rulemaking. The first list is scheduled to be published by the end of November, 2023. 

Learn more about our rulemaking process and terminology.


Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) are the leading type of occupational injury in Washington state. They account for at least one-third of workers' compensation claims that result in time-loss or wage replacement.

In 2023, the legislature passed RCW 49.17.520, allowing L&I to adopt rules to prevent WMSDs in industries or risk classes that see workers compensation claims for WMSDs at two times the overall state rate. Only one rule for either an industry or risk classification can be adopted within a 12 month period. The effective date of any WMSD rule must be at least 120 days after adoption of the rule and the first rule cannot take effect until July 1, 2026.


L&I has proposed the following timeline for adopting rules:

Rulemaking Action Items
Action Item Date
Annual Eligible Industry and Risk Class List Report Posted​ By November each year​
Select First Industry or Risk Class for Rulemaking ​ Anticipated Spring 2024​
File CR-101​ Anticipated Spring 2024​
Assemble Industry or Risk Class Advisory Committee as required by RCW 49.17.520(6)​ Anticipated Summer 2024​
Develop Rule Language​ Starting Summer 2024​
Rule Adoption​ To be determined (TBD)​
Effective Date​ TBD, At least 120 days after adoption no earlier than July 1, 2026​

Rule Drafts & Documents

By the end of November, 2023, L&I will publish the first list of industries and risk classifications eligible for this rulemaking.

The first CR-101 should be filed in the Spring of 2024.


Ergonomics rulemaking resources

Staff Contacts

For questions about this rulemaking project or ergonomics in general, contact

Get updates via email

If you would like to receive email updates regarding this and other rulemaking projects and future stakeholder meetings, please sign up for our email updates.