<< Back to Directory of States

[Washington State Plan Website]
Contact Information
Washington Department of Labor and Industries
Division of Occupational Safety & Health (DOSH)

7273 Linderson Way SW
Tumwater, WA 98501-5414

Mailling Address:
P.O. Box 44600
Olympia, WA 98504-4600

Anne Soiza, Assistant Director, DOSH
Dave Puente, Deputy Assistant Director, DOSH

PH: (360) 902-5494
Fax: (360) 902-5619

L&I Information: 1-800-547-8367

Safety and Health Hot Line:
1-800-4BE-SAFE or 1-800-423-7233

About the Washington State Plan

The state of Washington, under an agreement with OSHA, operates an occupational safety and health program in accordance with Section 18 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. The Washington State Plan was approved in January, 1973, and the state's enabling legislation, the Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act, took effect in June of 1973. The Washington program received certification for completing all developmental steps in January, 1982.

The Washington State Program is administered by the Department of Labor and Industries (DL&I), Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH). A director, appointed by the Governor, heads the department and serves as the state plan designee. The Assistant Director for DOSH administers the day-to-day operations of the state program. The central office for DOSH is located in Tumwater, Washington. The Division has various regional and field offices located throughout the state. The DOSH program establishes policy and technical guidance, writes standards, develops internal and external training, monitors and evaluates DOSH programs, conducts inspections, and provides consultative services.


The state of Washington exercises safety and health jurisdiction over most private sector employers in the state, and public sector employers except the federal government.

Federal OSHA exercises jurisdiction over employers not covered by the state of Washington, including civilian federal employees and private contractors on military reservations and national parks, floating maritime operations, the United States Postal Service, tribal operations and tribal member employers on Indian Reservations and Trust Lands, and certain contractors within the boundary of the Hanford Reservation or the Hanford Reach National Monument not regulated by DOE or the state of Washington. See 29 CFR 1952.122.

Regulations and Standards

Over the years, the state of Washington has adopted a number of safety and health standards which have some significant differences from the federal counterparts. Examples include Washington's rules for fall protection, respiratory protection, aerial lifts, and agriculture. DOSH has also adopted a number of state-initiated rules for which there are no federal counterparts, including requirements for written safety and health programs, and for safety committees.

As part of the DOSH Standards Innovations Project, Washington grouped a number of basic safety and health standards, necessary for most employers, into one code section (Chapter 296-800 WAC). These are referred to as Core Rules. The Core Rules include requirements for Safe Workplace (similar to the OSHA General Duty Clause), Accident Prevention Program, First Aid, PPE, Hazard Communication, Safety Bulletin Board/Poster, Lighting, Housekeeping, Sanitation, Environmental, Tobacco Smoke in the Office, Stairs and Railings, Floor Holes and Openings, Open-sided Floors, Workplace Structural Integrity, Basic Electrical Rules, Portable Fire Extinguishers, and Exit Routes and Employee Alarm Systems.

Please see the Washington Regulations section of the Washington State Plan website.

Enforcement Programs

DOSH enforcement information, such as applicable rules and regulations, DOSH Compliance Manual, policies and procedures are found in program directives. You can also file a safety and health complaint or a discrimination complaint electronically via the Washington State Plan website. (Note: the DOSH Compliance Manual is not available through the web page. However, questions related to enforcement programs and policies should be directed to DOSH offices or contacts listed.)

Voluntary and Cooperative Programs

As part of the DOSH mission to keep Washington workers safe, DOSH conducts free on-site safety and health consultations each year for employers who request help in complying with DOSH rules and in improving their safety and health program in their unique workplace setting. These consultations help prevent injuries, illnesses and death and contribute to the DOSH goal of having the safest workplaces in the nation. For additional details and to request a free consultation or to find out about other voluntary compliance resources, please visit the Assistance & Consultation section of the DOSH website.

DOSH also offers and operates a Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) for employers who operate an exemplary safety and health program. VPP information, program application, and a list of current VPP sites in Washington are available on the DOSH website.

Additionally, DOSH provides various training resources and publications.

Policies and Procedures

DOSH Program Directives (re: procedures and interpretations of regulations)

Informal Conferences and Appeals

DOSH has procedures under Washington's Administrative Rules (Chapter 296-900 WAC) and the DOSH Administrative Manual that afford employers the right to administrative and judicial review of alleged violations, initial penalties and abatement periods. The same procedures also provide employees and their representatives the opportunity to participate in review proceedings and contest citation abatement dates(s). See Chapter 49.17.140 RCW.

First appeals are sent to the Department for consideration and may be sent to: DOSH Appeals, P.O. Box 44604, Olympia, WA 98504-4604, telephone (360) 902-5486 and Fax (360) 902-5581 and office hours 8:00 am 5:00 pm M-F, excluding legal holidays. The next step in the appeals process is more formal and resides outside the Department in the independent Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals (BIIA), P.O. Box 42401, Olympia, WA 98504-4201, telephone toll free 1-800-442-0447 or call (360) 586-5611, Fax (360) 586-5611 [physical address: 2430 Chandler Court SW, Olympia, WA 98504-4201] and office hours 8:00 am 5:00 pm MF, excluding legal holidays.

Other Resources

Publications (e.g. Basic Steps to a Safe Workplace) and posters (Chapter 296800 WAC)

Employers may also contact one of the DOSH regional or field offices located in the state.

OSHA makes every effort to ensure that the information on this page is accurate and up to date, but changes in state law and procedures affecting the information on this page are beyond OSHA's control. Contact state program staff directly to verify important information.