Safety Plans

What Is a Safety Plan?

A Safety Plan is a written document that describes the process for identifying the physical and health hazards that could harm workers, procedures to prevent accidents, and steps to take when accidents occur. Written safety plans can be comprehensive, such as an injury and illness prevention program, or they can be specific to a particular activity, hazard, or piece of equipment. The written safety plan is your blueprint for keeping workers safe. Many organizations compile their activity-specific safety plans into a single safety manual.

Why Have a Written Safety Plan?

Federal OSHA requires written safety plans for more than 2 dozen specific workplace activities and more than a dozen chemicals. In addition, many states require some or all employers to develop comprehensive written safety plans or offer workers’ compensation discounts to employers that do so. Many organizations adopt voluntary safety plans to prevent injuries and illnesses, increase worker productivity, prepare for special emergencies, and enhance workplace security.

OSHA Mandatory Written Plans

Out of all of OSHA’s many safety rules, there are 16 for general industry workplaces that require written plans or procedures and 10 written construction safety plan requirements for the construction industry. 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, lead, and benzene.

Activities or safety programs for which OSHA requires a written safety plan include:

  • Hazard Communication (29 CFR 1910.1200(e)) plan for facilities where workers could be exposed to hazardous chemicals. Failure to have a written hazard communication plan is a very frequently cited OSHA violation
  • Emergency Action Plan and Fire Prevention Plan (29 CFR 1910.38 and 29 CFR 1910.39)
  • Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Control Plan (29 CFR 1910.1030(c)) at facilities that anticipate employee exposure to blood
  • HAZWOPER Safety and Health Plan (29 CFR 1910.120(b))
  • Respiratory protection(29 CFR 1910.134(c)) for workplaces where employees are required to use respirators
  • Hazardous energy control (lockout/tagout) (29 CFR 1910.147(c)) program to prevent injuries during equipment service and maintenance
  • Permit-required confined space plan (29 CFR 1910.146(c)(4)) for any facility that allows entry to permit-required confined spaces
Basic Safety Plan Elements

OSHA recommends that each written plan include the following basic elements:

  • Policy or goals statement
  • List of responsible persons
  • Hazard identification
  • Hazard controls and safe practices
  • Emergency and accident response
  • Employee training and communication
  • Recordkeeping
Safety Plans and Other Compliance Tools to Help YOU!® has over 70 customizable prewritten safety program templates and more than 150 associated forms as well as up-to-date analysis of the OSHA regulations that affect you. All of the safety plans, forms, and training resources are available to you in several timesaving formats:

  • Automated Plan Builder tool
  • Customizable prewritten health and safety plans
  • Reporting, recordkeeping, and training forms
  • Hazard assessment and evaluation tools
  • Safety Plan compliance tips and considerations

Our knowledgeable editors continually add new OSHA safety plan topics. If you need a safety compliance solution, BLR has it!

More about Safety Plans
Other Safety Topics