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  • June 12, 2017 2:15 PM | Administrator (Administrator)

    Attention Employers!

    Employers must provide training to workers so they understand what heat stress is, how it affects their health and safety, and how it can be prevented. The Outdoor Heat Exposure Rule WAC 296-62-095 (app.leg.wa.gov) applies from May 1 through September 30, every year, when exposures are at or above a specific temperature (see Table 1 of the rule (app.leg.wa.gov)).

    For further information about the outdoor heat exposure rule requirements, click here to visit L & I’s website, or click here to visit the Members’ Only Resources area of BNCW’s website.


  • June 02, 2017 9:28 AM | Administrator (Administrator)

    Douglas County commissioners are seeking county residents to apply for a vacant position on the Douglas County Planning Commission.

    The Planning Commission is a seven-member volunteer panel of citizens appointed by the commissioners to develop recommendations on planning matters in the county.

    Planning Commission members are appointed from each of the three commissioner districts and one at-large member. One vacancy will be open July 1 for District 3, and one term will be expiring July 1 for District 2.

    To be eligible, those interested must reside in and be a registered voter of Douglas County in the district of the vacancy.

    Applications are available online at www.douglascountywa.net, then click on the “Volunteer Commission and Board Application” link. Applications are due June 5.

    For more information, call 745-8537.


  • April 25, 2017 2:26 PM | Administrator (Administrator)

    Two new commissioners, Dan Sutton and Kyle Steinburg took office at the beginning of the year and the progress they have made with respect to improving regulatory processes has been remarkable.  One of the biggest obstacles to economic development and affordable housing is the ever-increasing regulatory burden and even more importantly, how the regulations are administered.

    In all land improvement and investments there are essentially three types of risk.  The market risk, of course – that is, the dangers of market forces changing so that when a project comes on line the market fails to respond.  There is what is known as the “development risk” and that is the worry that the project won’t “pencil” due to any number of factors, such as increasing costs, errors in estimating costs, etc.  But the biggest and most unpredictable risk is the regulatory risk.  Market risk and development risk can somewhat be managed, but the threat of regulatory changes, changes in policy, or just plain unpredictability is beyond the landowners’ control, and often cannot be managed at all.

    Of course, more risk, particularly regulatory risk, drives up prices as project proponents become less and less willing to take on a given project without a higher and higher rate of return required to take on that additional risk.  Simple and persistent economic realities.  The effect of regulatory burden is to add artificial constraints to supply and the unrelenting hand of economic reality means prices increase.

    The new commissioners, both small businessmen, have a deep and abiding understanding of how this works, and have taken steps already (they’ve only been on the job for 4 months) that are helping to mitigate some of that regulatory risk.

    Here are some of the things they have already done:

    • Changed the requirements for neighborhood meetings on land projects to make them make more sense;
    • Reassigned staff to make problematic plan reviews go more smoothly;
    • Holding staff accountable for onerous off-site improvement requirements;
    • Working with the City of East Wenatchee to make “open space” requirements more palatable and thus, avoiding another housing cost increase factor;
    • Taking a strong stand on proposed mandatory minimum-density standards that have been sold as a way to provide affordability when in actuality they do the opposite;
    • Streamlined the bonding process for subdivision development, once again providing a tool to make lots more affordable; and,
    • Changing the timing on submittals of rezone requests.

    These are just a few things.  None of these things by themselves make huge differences, but taken together, they can.  That’s how this regulatory risk (shall we say regulatory creep) – one little regulation at a time -- has evolved and thus has increased housing prices.  It needs to be unwound and these guys are doing that.  We expect many more good things to come.

    Thank you Dan, Kyle, and Steve for working in the best interests of the citizens of Douglas County.

     


  • April 12, 2017 11:34 AM | Administrator (Administrator)


  • March 27, 2017 11:32 AM | Administrator (Administrator)

    Building North Central Washington is very pleased to announce that our Association will now be offering our qualified member companies access to a few high-quality, proven workers, compensation retro programs!

    The SMART A-TEAM group retro program is designed for general contractors and sub-contractors who want to take advantage of a group retro program consisting of a large premium group.

    A-Team participants are committed to accident prevention and keeping injured workers on salary for no less than 30 days. In addition, by returning injured workers to light duty as soon as possible, they are able to keep their costs low. In the past, some of the firms in this group may have had challenges with safety and/or claims, resulting in higher costs. With the support from SMART A-Team and Approach, they are improving their safety record by lowering their experience factor.

    The SMART A-Team has averaged between 25 and 35 percent group refunds since its inception in 1996. The refund is distributed 75 percent based on performance (premium vs. losses) and 25 percent premium. Even if a participant's losses exceed their premium, they can still get some refund monies depending on the amount of premium paid into the group's premium pool. While the SMART A-Team enjoys high refunds, it is their goal to lower each participant's experience factor and prevent accidents so that all workers can return home safe to their families every day.

    BNCW will also be offering our qualified member companies access to participation in the SMART Advantage Retro program. The goal of the SMART Advantage retro group is to provide proactive workers’ compensation claim management for companies in retail, wholesale, and professional service industries, while lowering the amount of premium paid to the Department of Labor and Industries (L&I). 
    SMART Advantage has averaged between 30 and 38 percent group refunds since its inception in 2004.

    Also, BNCW now has access to a Retro program for qualified members in the transportation, manufacturing and food processing industries through the PITB Association (Pacific Inland Tariff Bureau).

    For more information about these quality workers' comp retro programs and to see if your company may qualify to get some of your hard-earned dollars back, please contact BNCW at (509) 293-5840, or click here for more information.


  • February 21, 2017 2:59 PM | Administrator (Administrator)

    TUMWATER — Improving workplace safety just got easier with two new free apps available from the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I). They were developed with grant money awarded by L&I’s Safety and Health Investment Projects (SHIP) Program. Both can be downloaded for IOS or Android devices.

    The SHIP Program funds innovative projects that prevent workplace injuries, illnesses, and fatalities and help injured workers return to work.


    “We hope all employers will give these apps a try,” said Jenifer Jellison, program manager for L&I’s SHIP grant program. “They’re convenient, easy to use in the workplace, and offer a great new way to prevent injuries and reinforce safe work practices.”


    Capture and report safety incidents instantly

    The Good Observation, Near-Miss and Accident Reporting app provides a simple and effective way to document safety incidents in the workplace. Employers can use it to photograph a safe practice, a near-miss or an accident, and then use the finger-drawing tool to markup the photo. A quick-report feature lets you save the photo, add a few details and send to others in your organization.

     

    This new workplace safety tool was developed by three companies working together John W. Shervey & Associates, Shuchart Construction and Mellora using a $45,735 SHIP grant. 

     

    The app is suitable for most industries and can be used for training, hazard recognition, risk analysis or process improvement. There’s also a Spanish version, and there’s a  YouTube video that shows how to use the app. Download the app at WA-HSEQ app.

     

    SafeMe app gets young workers off to a safe start

    Statistics show that young workers are more likely to be injured on the job than adults, especially when they’re new to the working world. This new app offers safety lessons, videos and hazard identification for a variety of occupations where teens and young workers often find jobs, including retail and restaurants.

     

    The SafeMe app was developed by the Washington Retail Association with young workers in mind. The project was funded with a $177,426 SHIP grant. The download is available at WRA SafeMe project.

    Visit www.Lni.wa.gov/Safety/GrantsPartnerships/SHIP/ to learn more about the SHIP  Program.


  • December 01, 2016 3:34 PM | Administrator (Administrator)

    TUMWATER The minimum wage in Washington will increase to $11 an hour starting on Jan. 1, 2017. Since the recent election, the Department of Labor & Industries has received scores of calls asking for clarity on the details of the new law.

     

    The new minimum wage, a result of the passage of Initiative 1433, applies to all jobs, including those in agriculture. Workers under 16 years old can be paid 85 percent of the adult minimum wage, or $9.35 per hour, in 2017. In addition to minimum wage, the initiative addresses paid sick leave.

     

    Seattle, Tacoma, and the City of SeaTac have higher minimum wage rates for 2017. For employers in those areas, the local minimum wage rate will apply as long as it is higher than the state minimum.

     

    The new law does not change minimum wage exemptions or regulations regarding overtime pay.

     

    Since 1998, L&I has been responsible for calculating the state’s minimum wage each September. Under Initiative 1433, the minimum wage will increase to $13.50 by 2020. L&I will resume calculating the minimum wage for calendar years 2021 and beyond.

     

    Paid sick leave starting in 2018

    Along with increasing the state minimum wage, the initiative requires employers to provide paid sick leave starting Jan. 1, 2018.

     

    Under the initiative, L&I must adopt rules to enforce the new requirement, including, “…procedures for notification to employees and reporting regarding sick leave, and protecting employees from retaliation for the lawful use of sick leave…”

     

    The official rulemaking process, which will include public comment opportunities, will take place in 2017. Interested parties can sign up for updates on the process on L&I’s Employment Standards Program listserv (Lni.wa.gov/Main/Listservs/WRWageHour.asp).

     

    Worker rights

    L&I provides materials to help employers inform workers about the minimum wage and their rights as workers. Employers are required to post L&I’s “Your Rights as a Worker” poster in the workplace. The poster has general information about employment issues. An optional, minimum-wage poster is also available for employers. Both are free from L&I.

     

    L&I enforces the state’s wage-and-hour laws. The agency investigates all wage-payment complaints. More information on Washington’s minimum wage is available on L&I's wage and hour webpage. Employers and workers may also call 360-902-5316 or 1-866-219-7321.

     

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  • October 04, 2016 3:11 PM | Administrator (Administrator)

    Recently, Planning Manager for the City of Wenatchee--Glen DeVries--sent BNCW the following message:

    On August 11, 2016, the City of Wenatchee made a number of limited changes to city code specified in Ordinance No. 2016-22.  Included within these changes were two definition revisions to address several concerns within the prior zoning code.  These included a revised definition for lot coverage and a revised definition for rear yard. 

    The change to the rear yard definition will provide clarity for irregularly shaped or triangular lots with respect to the measurement and application of a rear yard setback.  The change to the lot coverage standard will provide a change in how lot coverage is measured, more consistent with the standards of surrounding jurisdictions providing that the measurement is measured horizontally from the outside of the external walls or supporting members of all primary and accessory structures.  Eaves extending greater than two feet from the external wall will be calculated in the total lot coverage. 

    I have enclosed a link to the adopted ordinance http://www.wenatcheewa.gov/home/showdocument?id=15003, which is now in effect.  Code publishing should have our online code updated soon.  Please let me know if you have any questions.


  • June 29, 2016 1:11 PM | Administrator (Administrator)

    Given the long, contentious presidential primary, it’s likely that most people are already tired of all things political. However, this 2016 primary election is an extremely important one locally! There are a number of critical races where there are three or more candidates vying for the same position, with only the top two candidates moving forward to the General Election.

    BNCW members, please be certain to complete your due diligence by taking a little bit of time to learn more about each of the candidates. We strongly encourage our members to consider supporting the BNCW-endorsed candidates noted below, as well as asking that your friends, family and others within your circles do the same!

    Remember, the Primary Election is August 2. Ballots should be in mailboxes around July 18th! For a printable version of the list of BNCW Endorsed candidates, click here.



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