Approach Management

ToolBox Talks: L&I Citations

What is an (LNI-DOSH) citation?
How much does a LNI-DOSH citation cost?

Who pays for the citation?

What are the top citations LNI-DOSH are citing employers for?

How can we avoid an LNI citation?



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Washington law requires employers to provide a workplace free of recognized hazards, RCW 49.17. This law also allows LNI-DOSH to inspect any and all places of employment.

The inspector is required to issue a citation if they encounter a serious hazard.

The amount of an LNI-DOSH citation has many variables.

Severity and probability are two ways LNI will look at a hazard,

Severity = what is the worst outcome that could happen

Probability = what is the likelihood that a serious injury or death could happen


Factors for determining the penalty amount.

Size of the company.
Is the employer acting in good faith.
How many workers are exposed.

Base penalty amount (for a single serious hazard).
The maximum currently is $7,000.
Reductions are based on company size, and if the employer acted on good faith.

For example, a worker is not wearing fall protection, exposed to height of 20 feet above the surface below.

The company has 260 employees.
The citation is $7,000 for 1 citation.
There could be additional serious violations on that job-site and each violation will be cited separately.
The same example and the company has only 2 employees.
The citation could be $2,100 for 1 citation.

Repeat violations have multipliers that can go all the way up to 15!
This mean, the smaller employer could have a citation of $31,500 and the larger employer a penalty amount of $105,000 for 1 single violation.

Often it’s not the monetary cost of the citation that has the widest impact but the effect it has to a company’s safety record, which is used to qualify for future work with owners, developers and general contractors.


What are the top violations LNI/DOSH is citing employers;

  • Fall protection
  • Accident Prevention Programs – generally safety meetings are not being done
  • CPR-First aid cards
  • Working on scaffolding
  • Overhead protection – hard hats


How can we as a company avoid an LNI citation?
Pretty simple -

  1. You are part of a team, we all need to work together helping keep workplaces safe
  2. Know and follow the safety policies of your company, for your own protection
  3. If you see a hazard, bring it to your supervisor’s attention, immediately
  4. Don’t put yourself into a hazard and look out for each other
  5. Common sense – think about your job task and add the safety element to it
  6. Job hazard analysis to identify the task, hazards and how to perform it safely
  7. Attend and participate at the safety meetings. These meetings are important training opportunities that give you direction on what is expected by your company.
  8. Wear your PPE (personal protective equipment). Hard hats, safety glasses, etc.

Remember we all play an important part in a safe workplace. Let’s keep our job-sites safe and protect ourselves from hazards! Let’s be safe out there! 

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