(1) The director is authorized to provide funding from the medical aid fund established under RCW 51.44.020
, by grant or contract, for safety and health investment projects for workplaces insured for workers' compensation through the department's state fund. This shall include projects to: Prevent workplace injuries, illnesses, and fatalities; create early return-to-work programs; and reduce long-term disability through the cooperation of employers and employees or their representatives.
(2) Awards may be granted to organizations such as, but not limited to, trade associations, business associations, employers, employees, labor unions, employee organizations, joint labor and management groups, and educational institutions in collaboration with state fund employer and employee representatives.
(3) Awards may not be used for lobbying or political activities; supporting, opposing, or developing legislative or regulatory initiatives; any activity not designed to reduce workplace injuries, illnesses, or fatalities; or reimbursing employers for the normal costs of complying with safety and health rules.
(4) Funds for awards shall be distributed as follows: At least twenty-five percent for projects designed to develop and implement innovative and effective return-to-work programs for injured workers; at least twenty-five percent for projects that specifically address the needs of small businesses; and at least fifty percent for projects that foster workplace injury and illness prevention by addressing priorities identified by the department in cooperation with the Washington industrial safety and health act advisory committee and the workers' compensation advisory committee.
(5) The department shall adopt rules as necessary to implement this section.
Finding—Effective date—2011 1st sp.s. c 37:
See notes following RCW 51.32.090