Washington OSHA laws & HR compliance analysis

Washington OSHA: What you need to know

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) is “preemptive”; that is, it overrides state laws and regulations in the areas that it covers. Since this amounts to virtually all areas of workplace health and safety in the private sector, the OSH Act supplants most state work safety requirements. Under the OSH Act, individual states may devise and administer their own laws and regulations, but only with approval from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), and only if the applicable state requirements are as stringent as the corresponding federal standards.
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Washington is among the “state-plan” states, which means it has received federal approval for its regulatory program, the Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act (WISHA) (WA Rev. Code Sec. 49.17.010 et seq.; WA Admin. Code Sec. 296-800-110et seq., WA Admin. Code Sec. 296-24-003et seq., WA Admin. Code Sec. 296-62-075, and WA Admin. Code Sec. 296-27-001et seq.), governing both private and public workplaces.
The state safety and health requirements mirror many of the federal standards, although WISHA contains several rules that are stricter than federal rules for air contaminants, bloodborne pathogens, electrical safety at power utilities, hazard communication (worker right-to-know), first aid, lockout/tagout, machine guarding, material handling, noise protection, head protection, respiratory protection, and welding/cutting/brazing. The state requires all employers to establish accident prevention programs and certain employers to establish safety committees. There is additional information about the stricter state standards
Washington's Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) administers ...

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