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Washington State Requirements

Washington State Plan: Ensuring Workplace Safety and Health Through Rigorous Standards, Inspections, and Education

Washington State has its own occupational safety and health program called Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I). L&I operates under the Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act (WISHA), which is the state equivalent of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA).

Under WISHA, L&I is responsible for enforcing workplace safety and health regulations and ensuring that employers provide safe and healthy working conditions for their employees. L&I conducts inspections, investigates complaints, and issues citations and penalties for violations of safety and health standards.

Frequently Asked Questions

Some key features of the Washington state OSHA plan include:

1. Standards and Regulations:

Washington State has its own set of safety and health regulations, which are largely based on federal OSHA standards. However, the state may have additional or more stringent requirements in certain areas.

2. Inspections and Enforcement:

L&I conducts inspections of workplaces to assess compliance with safety and health regulations. Inspections may be triggered by complaints from employees, referrals, or as part of L&I's proactive enforcement efforts. If violations are found, L&I can issue citations and penalties.

3. Training and Education:

L&I provides training and educational resources to employers and workers to promote workplace safety and health. This includes workshops, seminars, and online resources to help employers understand and comply with safety regulations.

4. Voluntary Compliance Programs:

L&I offers various voluntary compliance programs to encourage employers to go above and beyond basic safety requirements. These programs provide incentives and recognition to employers who demonstrate a commitment to workplace safety and health.

5. Worker Rights:

Like federal OSHA, Washington State protects workers' rights to a safe workplace. Employees have the right to file complaints with L&I if they believe their workplace is unsafe or if they experience retaliation for reporting safety concerns.

It's important to note that specific details of the Washington state OSHA plan may have changed since my last knowledge update. For the most up-to-date and detailed information, I recommend visiting the official website of the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries.


1. Enforcement of new federal standards until the state adopts a comparable standard;

2. Enforcement with respect to offshore maritime employment (shipyard employment and longshoring) including dry docks and graving docks, marine railways and similar conveyances (e.g., syncrolifts and elevator lifts), fuel operations, drilling platforms and rigs, dredging and pile driving, and diving;

3. Enforcement in situations where the State Plan is refused entry and is unable to obtain a warrant or enforce its right of entry;

4. Enforcement of unique and complex standards as determined by the Assistant Secretary;

5. Enforcement in situations when the State Plan is unable to exercise its enforcement authority fully or effectively;

6. Enforcement of occupational safety and health standards within the borders of all military reservations and national parks;

7. Enforcement with respect to certain contractors within the boundaries of the Hanford Reservation and the Hanford National Monument;

8. Enforcement with respect to contractor workers and contractor-operated facilities engaged in United States Postal Service (USPS) mail operations; and

9. All working conditions of aircraft cabin crewmembers onboard aircraft in operation.

State Plan Standards and Regulations

Washington state has adopted most OSHA standards by reference. However, there are unique State Plan standards in the following areas:

General Industry

  • Walking-Working Surfaces
  • Worker Emergency Plans and Fire Prevention Plans
  • Exit Routes and Worker Alarm Systems
  • Elevating Work Platforms
  • Powered Platforms
  • Ventilation for Abrasive Blasting and Spray Finishing
  • Noise Exposure
  • Nonionizing Radiation
  • Hazardous Materials and Processes
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Sanitation and Hygiene Facilities and Procedures
  • Temporary Housing for Workers
  • Confined Spaces
  • Lockout/Tagout
  • First Aid and Emergency Response
  • Fire Protection and Prevention
  • Materials Handling and Storage
  • Machinery and Machine Guarding
  • Portable Power Tools
  • Welding, Cutting, and Brazing
  • Pulp, Paper, and Paperboard Mills and Paper Printing Operations
  • Textiles
  • Laundry and Dry Cleaning Machinery and Operations
  • Sawmills and Other Wood Processing
  • Logging and Forestry
  • Telecommunications
  • Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution
  • Grain Handling Facilities
  • Aquatic Settings
  • Charter Boats
  • Ski Facilities
  • Window Cleaning
  • Meat, Food, and Tobacco Processing and Packing
  • Electrical Hazards
  • Compressed Air Work
  • Commercial Diving Operations
  • Toxic Substances
  • Airborne Contaminants
  • Ionizing Radiation
  • Biological Agents
  • Bloodborne Pathogens
  • Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories
  • Chemical Agents
  • Hazard Communication
  • Heat Stress and Cold Stress
  • Late Night Retail Worker Crime Prevention
  • Steam Piping
  • Lighting
  • Motor Vehicles
  • Worker Intoxication

  • Construction

  • Boilers and Pressure Vessels
  • First Aid and Emergency Response
  • Sanitation
  • Noise Exposure
  • Ionizing Radiation
  • Nonionizing Radiation
  • Gases, Vapors, Fumes, Dusts, and Mists
  • Lighting and Illumination
  • Ventilation
  • Hazard Communication
  • Personal Protective/Life Saving Equipment
  • Fire Protection and Prevention
  • Signaling and Flaggers
  • Barricades
  • Storage of Materials
  • Disposal of Waste Materials
  • Rigging Requirements for Material Handling
  • Slings
  • Rigging Hardware and Lifting Devices Other than Slings and Rigging Hardware
  • Lifting Devices Other than Slings and Rigging Hardware
  • Hand and Power Tools
  • Welding and Cutting
  • Electrical Hazards
  • Fall Protection
  • Material Hoists, Personnel Hoists and Platforms, and Elevators
  • Base-Mounted Drum Hoists
  • Overhead Hoists
  • Conveyors
  • Aerial Cableways and Tramways
  • Motor Vehicles, Mechanized Equipment, and Marine Operations
  • Excavation, Trenching, and Shoring
  • Concrete, Concrete Forms, Shoring, and Masonry Construction
  • Steel Erection
  • Underground Construction
  • Demolition
  • Roll Over Protective Structures and Overhead Protection
  • Stairways
  • Asbestos
  • Cadmium
  • Formaldehyde
  • Methylenedianiline
  • Lead
  • Cranes, Rigging, and Personnel Lifting
  • Walking-Working Surfaces
  • Confined Spaces
  • Roofing Operations
  • Asphalt Mixing and Rock Crushing Operations
  • House Building and Moving Operations
  • Worker Intoxication

  • Frequently Asked Questions