If you have employees in Washington state, you must have a safety plan, known as an Accident Prevention Plan (APP). This is true even if your work in a low-risk industry like office administration. APPs become even more important for higher risk work. Indeed, several industries have special requirements for their APPs.
Updating your safety plan (APP)
Learn how to update your APP or build a new one
Get started with your safety plan
It’s tempting to google Safety Plan and use the first thing that comes up. DON’T DO THIS!
In Washington state, you can start with a safety plan (APP) template from L&I
Approach clients, find our enhanced safety plan (APP) templates in the Client Portal.
The APP is required by law. It’s also the first thing the inspector will ask for if your company is subject to a workplace safety inspection.
Top 3 safety plan (APP) problems
Your APP must be available and relevant to your business. Here are three key problems you could encounter during an inspection if your APP isn’t up to scratch:
Not having an APP (or not being able to find it during an inspection) is a violation. Every employer must have an APP available for inspection.
Your APP must address the hazards in your workplace. A generic APP that ignores these hazards can also count as a violation.
The APP should be reviewed periodically and whenever the nature of your business changes. If there are new hazards which aren’t in your APP, you guessed it, it could be a violation.
Julio Salas, safety manager at Approach, recommends employers attend our March 18 Brain Trust to find out more about APPs and safety inspections, saying, “we will address how the Inspector from Labor and Industries will review the APP and what they will look for in that document.”
Benefits of a safety plan (APP)
Preparing or updating your APP can really pay off for your company, even if it feels like you already have a good handle on the hazards at your workplace. L&I advises that a hazard analysis is the first step of an APP, so take the time to walk your workplace and job sites with an eye towards any safety hazards that may exist.
“During our Brain Trust webinar, we…will address how the Inspector from Labor and Industries will review the APP and what they will look for in that document.”
Chances are, you’ll quickly find some items you hadn’t noticed before. By creating a plan to deal with these and future hazards, you are:
- Reducing the risk of a workplace accident
- Improving employee morale and productivity
- Keeping insurance costs as low as possible
- Mitigating exposure to liability
You’ll also have a ready-made plan for responding to emergencies, a training tool for new employees, and guidelines for setting up new job sites or workstations.
Safety plan (APP) attachments
Some workplace hazards are significant enough that they require their own documentation. These are often included as attachments or appendices to the main APP. In any case, they must be available at each work location if required for your industry or relevant to the work being done.
Examples of safety plan attachments:
- Fall protection work plan
- Ladder safety plan
- Respiratory protection plan
These plans will address the training, equipment, and PPE needed to provide a safe working environment for the hazards that exists.
Join our March 18 Brain Trust to learn more about the specific requirements for your APP, the elements of a written program, and how you can implement an effective program. Sign up below to join the webinar!