296-17-31015  <<  296-17-31016 >>   296-17-31017

(Effective until January 1, 2017.)

WAC 296-17-31016

Classification by analogy.

How do you determine what classification(s) to assign to my business if a specific reference does not exist in the classification plan? You may operate a business which is not specifically referenced in our classification plan. This can simply be the result of differences in terminology. Classifications are constantly evolving as employers adopt new technology, employ more specialized employees, modernize equipment, and employ new processes. In rare instances our classification plan will not specifically reference a type of business. When we discover a type of business or industry for which a classification does not exist, we will follow the same general classification approach that we use to classify a business when a reference does exist. However, we need to go a step further by considering the processes used and the related hazards. We call this classifying by analogy.
Example: You are the owner of a pen manufacturing business. Assume we have contacted you and learn the following:
You purchase all the plastic components from another unrelated business;
Some of your pens have plastic housings and others have metal housings;
You manufacture all of the small metal components at your plant;
Your metal manufacturing consists of metal stamping, using metal lighter than nine gauge, and extrusion processes;
You also manufacture small boxes to package your pens;
You operate a printing department for printing your company's logo and pen information on the boxes;
As a special service to customers, you will deliver their pens if they are within a sixty mile radius of your plant.
We have over three hundred classifications. To simplify the classification process, we have grouped our classification codes into about thirty-eight smaller groupings which we refer to as a schedule grouping. In the case of a pen manufacturer, we can narrow our search to the group which covers metal goods manufacturing. Within the metal goods manufacturing group we have classifications that cover the fabrication of structural iron or steel beams used in construction; classifications that cover the manufacture of wood stoves, storage tanks, and other products using plate metal; classifications that cover light weight sheet metal works such as heating and ventilating duct work; and a classification that covers the manufacture of light metal products. In our search for a classification we encounter classification 3602. Classification 3602 includes the manufacture of fishing tackle, scientific instruments, metal buttons, and jewelry. When we consider the weight of metal, other materials used in the manufacture of the product, the manufacturing processes, and the end product, we conclude that classification 3602 is the most applicable to the manufacture of writing pens and would assign this classification to your pen manufacturing business.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 51.16.035. WSR 98-18-042, § 296-17-31016, filed 8/28/98, effective 10/1/98.]
(Effective January 1, 2017.)

WAC 296-17-31016

Classification by analogy.

How do you determine what classification(s) to assign to a business if the type of business is not specifically noted in the classification plan?
Because technologies and processes continually evolve, sometimes new types of businesses are not yet specifically identified in our classification plan. Under these circumstances, we continue to classify by the nature of an employer's business.
Department staff review the combined overall operations and occupations of the business to determine the nature of the business. Once we have determined the nature of business, we look for other businesses that have similar processes, use similar equipment, and whose operations are likely to produce the same level of risk as the new business. This is called classifying by analogy.
Example: When indoor simulated golf was first introduced as a business model in Washington state, this type of business was not yet identified by our classification plan. Because the operations of indoor simulated golf take place indoors and rely on computer regulated screens operating within individual cubicles, the nature of business was determined to be significantly different than that of golf courses, driving ranges, and miniature golf. By analogy, the department determined the combined overall operations of indoor simulated golf aligned more closely to those of casinos and billiard halls than to any other golfing enterprise, and classified accordingly.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 51.04.020 and 51.16.035. WSR 16-14-085, § 296-17-31016, filed 7/5/16, effective 1/1/17. Statutory Authority: RCW 51.16.035. WSR 98-18-042, § 296-17-31016, filed 8/28/98, effective 10/1/98.]