Overview: OSHA does not require an overall written workplace safety program in the workplace; however, it does require several specific plans, such as the Hazard Communication Plan and the Exposure Control Plan, to be in writing. Also, having a written safety program can show OSHA that the employer is trying to create a safe and healthy workplace, which can result in lower fines if OSHA performs an inspection and finds a violation.
Even though a written safety program is not a requirement, it is a good idea to have one. Having a program can help reduce injuries and illnesses, which helps reduce workers' compensation and health care claims.
A written safety program should include all details relating to how the employer keeps its workers safe and healthy. This can include safety training components, all required plans, violation reporting procedures and anything else that the workplace does to promote safety.
Many states have their own OSH plans in place that employers must follow. While these plans must be at least as stringent as the federal plan, they can also be more so. Because of this, several states do require written safety programs. Employers should be aware of their state requirements on this issue.
Author: Melissa Gonzalez Boyce, JD, Legal Editor
California employers seeking to set expectations for employee use of company equipment and resources should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.
Employers who want to provide an overview of the evacuation procedures set forth in a written emergency action plan should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.
This How To details the steps an employer should take to implement a safety program.
This checklist may be used to emergency and evacuation plans for the workplace.
An employer may use this policy to cultivate a safe working environment for employees and to set companywide safety standards and expectations. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), employers must protect workers from hazards in the workplace and seek methods to eliminate or prevent dangerous conditions.