A lot of OSHA standards require employers to create written plans. Some apply to nearly every employer, like Emergency Action Plans. Other plans may depend on whether a regulation applies to your operations, like for Permit-Required Confined Space Entry.
Although employers must identify and create all applicable mandatory plans, most employers go further and create additional plans that aren’t required. The benefits include documenting clear processes, communicating procedures, assigning responsibilities, and measuring progress toward objectives.
The following ten safety plans are not required by OSHA, but employers should create and maintain them anyway:
Although these plans aren’t explicitly required, many are arguably “suggested” by some regulations. For example, a written plan for reporting accidents and injuries isn’t required, but the injury recordkeeping regulation at 1904.35 says, “You must inform each employee of how he or she is to report a work-related injury or illness to you.”
Along the same lines, there’s no OSHA requirement for a first aid written plan, but the regulation requires employers to provide adequate first aid supplies and make sure they’re readily available. A written program can help you meet this standard by outlining responsibilities, providing for periodic reviews, and so on.
Of course, nearly every employer must have an Emergency Action Plan for ensuring worker safety during a fire or other emergency. It only makes sense to back that up with a Disaster Recovery Plan to ensure continuation of business in the aftermath.
In the past year, many employers created plans for dealing with pandemics, but employers who already had those plans in place likely had a head start on responding to the situation.
Basically, any process that requires ongoing effort (such as housekeeping) or that involves a number of special considerations (such as disaster recovery, contractor safety, or visitor security) is a good candidate for a written plan.
Written plans, whether required or not, provide your company and its workers with safety and health goals and expectations, standard procedures, and defined responsibilities. They streamline your safety efforts and provide a foundation for keeping safety and health a priority. To help simplify your safety efforts, the J. J. Keller® SAFETY MANAGEMENT SUITE offers 120+ pre-written safety plan templates for OSHA, EPA and DOT. Just choose your topic, fill out the form and in minutes you’ll have a comprehensive written plan that’s built for your business.