GRIP RETRO | January 2021 News

The importance of a Job Offer Letter

Providing Return-to-Work (RTW) to injured employees provides great benefits to both your employee and your business. However, you should follow a specific process to receive the most significant financial incentive and legal protections with your RTW program. The medical provider’s review of the offered work and the use of a formal job offer letter are best practices to ensure that any eligibility for further time-loss ends and that L&I approves your Stay at Work (SAW) reimbursements.

Medical Provider’s Review

A medical provider’s review can come in many forms but should be a written description of the tasks you will ask your injured employee to perform and the job’s basic physical requirements. Some common resources used for the medical provider’s review:

  • Return to Work form (included in your incident reporting packet) provided by ERNwest
  • Light Duty Job Description fillable form provided by L&I
  • Formal Job Analysis

Common pitfall: An L&I Activity Prescription Form (APF) can help determine your worker’s capability, but by itself doesn’t meet L&I requirements for a modified-duty job offer. Use the APF to help draft your light duty job description and ensure you are offering physically appropriate work.

Helpful hint: Unsure how to draft a light-duty job description for medical review? Don’t worry. Your ERNwest Claim Manager is here to help. Contact them if you have any questions, and they can help walk you through this process.

Helpful hint: A medical review of the offered work is required to qualify for the L&I SAW reimbursement, earning you up to 50% back on the wages you pay while on modified duty.

Formal Job Offer Letter

While it may seem unnecessary, a formal job offer provides legal protection against further time loss. The job offer letter communicates to L&I and your employer that you have physically appropriate work available and the specifics of that work. The formal job offer letter must include:

  • Job title
  • Start date
  • Work location
  • Work schedule
  • Supervisor
  • Wage

Common pitfall: If you do not use a formal job offer letter and there is any dispute about the work offered, L&I may start paying time-loss benefits. Further, if you have an employee working light-duty and they stop showing up for work, or their employment with your company ends, L&I will start paying time-loss benefits if a formal offer letter isn’t in place.

Helpful hint: ERNwest has a job offer letter template that is very easy to use and satisfies L&I requirements. Simply fill in the blanks, and you’re ready to offer work. You can find a job offer letter template in your incident reporting packet or by contacting your ERNwest Claim Manager.

Helpful hint: Your job offer letter should include language that work is available on a “reasonably continuous” and not a “temporary” basis. This signals to L&I that you anticipate providing work as long as the worker is restricted and will prevent L&I from beginning costly and often unnecessary vocational services.

When you couple a medically approved job description with a formal written job offer letter, it provides your company with the best protection against time loss and ensures your eligibility for thousands of dollars in financial incentives. While it may seem burdensome at first, too often, when not used, we see claims incur needless expenses and employee-employer relationships forever damaged. The good news is that ERNwest has streamlined the process and is here to help. Please reach out to your ERNwest Claim Manager for the templated forms discussed and with any return-to-work questions you may have.

GRIP Safety

Prevent Construction Falls from Roofs, Ladders and Scaffolds

Falls are the leading cause of construction-worker deaths on the job. Download the CDC fact sheet with recommendations, reports, and resources to help employers, safety professionals, and workers prevent fall injuries and deaths.

Silica Safety

We have had several companies within the group have safety violations over concrete cutting. We urge you to share the following safety topic with your crews about silica safety. Silica Dust Dangers and Safety Measures | Safety Talk Ideas

UPDATE: Ladders and Electricity Fatality

In November, two workers were injured when their extension ladder encountered an energized powerline resulting in one fatality and one in critical condition. It is with a heavy heart we report that the worker in critical condition has passed away. We want to remind everyone to keep their situational awareness high and always check their working environment.

OSHA Recordkeeping

Time to get up-close and personal with those OSHA logs. December is usually the month business owners clean up Worker Injury and Illness records, in preparation for the recordkeeping scramble in January. Remember that if you are a “covered employer,” you have two obligations:

  • You are required to post your OSHA Form 300A Summary in an area available to employees and employee representatives, February 1 – April 30.
  • You are required to provide your OSHA Form 300A Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses during 2020 in electronic format to Federal OSHA by March 2, 2020.
  • IMPORTANT: COVID-19 positive cases that are documented to have been contracted in the workplace must be on the OSHA 300 form.

ERNwest offers webinars to help you complete your OSHA Recordkeeping responsibilities. OSHA Recordkeeping – Nuts & Bolts and OSHA 300 Recordkeeping Electronic Reporting are offered in January and will get you up to speed on all your recordkeeping requirements. Go to a list of ERNwest Training online to register for the webinars that work on your schedule. Download the OSHA Fact Sheet to understand full requirements under the rule. 

Helpful Safety Information

Can You Spot the Hazards?

The 2021 Workplace Safety and Health calendar features the Department of Labor & Industries partnership with WorkSafeBC and provides a fun way to promote hazard awareness and finding/fixing similar hazards in your workplace. Download the 2021 Spot the Hazard Safety Calendar.

Employee Mental Health

One of the silent effects of the COVID pandemic is the toll taken on employee mental health. Layoffs, skeleton crews, and, in some cases, overworking employees can affect our mental state, causing the mind to wander from what we are doing, creating stress both at home and while working, and fostering uncertainty. Employee mental health is vital in these unprecedented times, and employers can help educate and care for workers. Visit the CDC page on mental health for information and potential solutions to care for employees’ mental health.

Choosing Proper Footwear for Winter Weather

A company employs different job types within its business structure; administrative 9-5 workers, sales floor staff, warehouse workers, etc. The activities performed by these various positions require different levels of traction/foot protection. Read the OSHA article, How to Choose Proper Footwear This Winter

Upcoming Training

GRIP Webinar Training

These GRIP-specific trainings benefit new members or serve as a great refresher for established GRIP participants. Click on the dates below for more information about the training and to register.

January 12, 2021 at 10:00am | OSHA 300 Recordkeeping – Nuts and Bolt

January 13, 2021 at 10:30am | Getting your GRIP on Claims, Comp & Safety

January 14, 2021 at 10:00am | OSHA 300 Recordkeeping – Electronic Reporting

ERNwest Webinar Training

Select a topic for more information about these new, ERNwest-specific trainings and to register.

January 12, 2021, 10:00am | OSHA Recordkeeping – Nuts & Bolts

January 14, 2021, 10:00am | OSHA Recordkeeping Electronic Reporting

January 19, 2021,   1:00pm | Fit the Work to the Worker

ERNwest presents topics such as Understanding Industrial Insurance Rates, What is Retro? and Using Kept on Salary and Modified Duty Effectively on a monthly basis. Find more information about each online at

Latest COVID-19 Updates

MBA King/Snohomish
MBA Pierce

Additional RETRO Resources

GRIP Safety Resources

Access Toolbox Tips and general safety resources. Learn more.

Report All Incidents

Remember to report all incidents on the ERNwest website so that your claims manager is aware and can help guide you through the process. |


For precautionary reasons related to COVID-19, MBAKS offices are closed until King County enters Phase 3. Staff is working remotely and can be reached via phone or email. Events and class cancellations are noted on the MBAKS Events Calendar. Refer to the MBAKS COVID-19/Updates for up-to-date information.

GRIP Retro Questions?
Ashlee Day, GRIP Group Manager, (253) 237-0809 |

GRIP Safety Questions? 
John Sevier, GRIP Safety Manager | (253) 300-6399 |

GRIP Stay-At-Work Questions?
Tom Nelson, GRIP Stay-At-Work Coordinator | (253) 372-2357 |

Like this article?

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter