The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires written safety and health plans for more than 2 dozen specific workplace activities and more than a dozen chemicals. Out of the hundreds of OSHA safety rules for specific types of activities, there are 16 for general industry workplaces that require written plans or procedures, and 10 written plan requirements for construction activities. These numbers don't include written plans that may be required under the shipbuilding, marine terminals, longshoring, agriculture, or other specialized industries regulated by OSHA.
There are also requirements for written safety procedures for over a dozen hazardous substances listed under Subpart Z of the general industry rules for Toxic and Hazardous Substances, such as asbestos and vinyl chloride.
State requirements for written safety and health plans. There are roughly 2 dozen states that require a written general safety and health plan for certain industries, mostly as a requirement for workers' compensation insurance coverage. Some states, like California, require most workplaces to have a written plan, and other states require them only for "high-hazard" industries, such as those conducting electrical or hazardous chemical handling work. Some states require the written plan only for organizations with workers' compensation experience modification rates (EMRs), above a threshold that indicates a high-hazard workplace. For example, many states set an EMR threshold of 1.2-at or over that limit will trigger the written plan requirement.