Labor and Industry
Think of L & I as Washington's "building department" for portable structures.
Portable structures are regulated by L & I for such things as electrical wiring, the water supply and waste water systems, and any mechanical systems such as gas piping or heating and cooling equipment. It is not L & I's jurisdiction to regulate what elements you might need to satisfy health department requirements — the health department can require a hand-washing sink, for example — but it is
L & I's responsibility to be sure it is plumbed correctly.
Here's the process for getting your conversion vendor unit alteration plan approved and the work inspected and approved by L & I:
First, you need to create a plan and submit it to L & I for review.
Next, L & I must review and approve your plan before you start the work.
Then, L & I must inspect and approve the work you've done.
Find the vendor inspection checklist here.
L & I has two application types:
1. Limited System Plan Exempt Vending Unit and Inspection (not exempt from code compliance although no plans are required) for vending units that qualify based on the following criteria:
No Gas Systems, No generator, No cooking appliances (waffle makers ok, crepe makers ok, microwave ok, or the like), No hood or Fire suppression (due to no cooking), 30 AMP Electrical demand (5 circuits or less), plumbing for fresh water and waste water, counters, refrigerators ok. No plans are required although all the same codes apply for the systems. Inspections are required. A single form application is to be submitted with a fee of $37.60 for the screening and insignia. The insignia is issued to the inspector for inspection verification. Inspections are $76.00 an hour plus the same for travel (the total fee is assessed at the time of inspection and if required inspections, these fees are invoiced after the inspection due to the unknown).
2. Standard Plan Review and Inspection: Includes all systems desired. Requires complete plans of the systems to meet the regulations. The fees are $106.50 for the plan review application and $21.90 for the insignia application (total fee $128.40) to be submitted with the plans. Once the plans are approved the applicant can schedule the inspections. The insignia is issued to the inspector for inspection verification. Inspections are $76.00 an hour plus the same for travel (the total fee is assessed at the time of inspection and if required inspections, these fees are invoiced after the inspection due to the unknown).
New Law Requires L & I Inspections
A new law that went into effect June 21, 2016, requires L&I to inspect all food trucks. Previously, food trucks used outside Washington for six months or more were generally exempt from state standards. The new law, SHB 2443, removes the exemption. Click here to see if you have a unit that requires inspection.
Don't need to submit plans?
You still need an inspection.
Food trucks need to be inspected to receive an L&I insignia. You need an inspection before starting your food truck business. Here's how
The current turnaround time for your review is 4 to 5 weeks before it is assigned to a reviewer due to the volume of all applications. This includes all application types not just mobile vendors (as they have approximately (7) project types they review. They are reviewed in the order received and at any time may be assigned a particular project type to reviewers to expedite a certain volume received to alleviate some of the wait times.
L & I will respond to inquiries, but be aware they do take from the actual work to be completed and further delays progress. Please let us help you with as much of the process as we can, and contact us when you have issues or questions.
If you have questions related to workers compensation issues: their web site is http://www.lni.wa.gov/ClaimsIns/
For LP cylinders and tanks on food trucks/trailers we use the same requirements as for RV’s found in NFPA 1192 section 5.
There are two options:
DOT approved “LP cylinders” must be mounted either on the tow hitch of a trailer or in a sealed compartment within the body of the truck or trailer. They cannot be mounted on the rear or roof or under the floor. DOT approved tanks must be periodically inspected as required by the federal Dept. of Transportation.
“LP tanks” constructed to the ASME code for boilers and pressure vessels may be permanently mounted below the floor of a food truck or trailer. There is no DOT requirement for periodic re-inspection of ASME tanks.
If you are involved in a custom build, you can now access the "builder" checklist by downloading the following:
Risk Classification Codes
If your food truck is not moving to different locations during the day, all operations are reported under code 3905, with a base rate of .41. Code 1101 - (base rate = 2.15), is for
route food services that travel to various locations throughout the day. Anyone with any exposure to the nature of the business is reportable in the basic classification, so any cashier or
clean-up person would be reportable in 3905 in a food truck operation that doesn’t travel from place to place throughout the day. Even if the food truck is going to one location for the day then
packs up and goes home, they would be reportable in 3905.