Creating a Safety Manual?

OSHA visited one of our offices today and asked to see our safety manual.  No one really knows what they are talking about.  Is this something we can create?  Do we buy one?  We are a media company, and so there is no manufacturing or other large, dangerous equipment bigger than a copy machine.

Please advise.


  • 6 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Federal OSHA does not require a safety handbook.  In most organizations, the handbook has several roles. The primary role is to present safety rules, procedures, and standards of conduct.  The plan would be different for different types of organizations.  If you are strictly an office environment, you may not need a safety manual.  A simple safety policy may be sufficient.
  • Thank you. This occurred in our MN location, and OSHA asked them for a safety manual otherwise they will receive a citation.  I thought it was a bizarre request.
  • [quote user="efeldman"]Thank you. This occurred in our MN location, and OSHA asked them for a safety manual otherwise they will receive a citation.  I thought it was a bizarre request.[/quote]

    OSHA regs have increasingly pushed into office space.  There's more stuff going on now with fire evacuation plans and all sorts of little things that you don't normally think of in an office where you also don't typically get a safety officer.

  • Although federal OSHA doesn't require a safety manual/plan, at least two dozen states do require them including MN, CA, WA, OR, VA. If you are in one of those 24 states, state laws are stricter than federal OSHA concerning written safety plans. Someone mentioned MN. If you are in MN, you were visited by an official from the MN Dept of Labor and Industry and not federal OSHA unless you are a federal facility. MN law requires many employers including "business services" to have a written Workplace Accident and Injury Reduction Program so maybe you're regulated under that category. Check your state rules carefully; sometimes the safety plan rules are put under worker's comp laws.

    One of my clients subscribes to the BLR service and they have a generic general safety plan that can be customized.


  • I have been searching and searching.  Do you know where I can get a list of those states requiring safety manuals/plans?
  • I got the list of states and a summary of their requirements from Easy Workplace Safety Program, a BLR safety product. Many of the state requirements for written plans are under worker's compensation laws so they aren't easy to find. In some states you look under Labor rules, other states they're under Insurance rules, and in still other states they are under Commerce rules. Some states exempt certain low-hazard workplaces from the written plan requirement, others don't. The BLR product lists 24 states that require written safety plans/programs, and 16 other states that offer worker's comp premium discounts up to 5% if you voluntarily adopt and implement a written plan. Otherwise, go to both the workplace safety and worker's compensation website for the state you are in and look around, try different keywords in their search bars. For example, MNOSHA's website       ; has their written safety program requirement under AWAIR. Click on the AWAIR link at the bottom of the webpage to get details. As I say, these requirements are not easy to find.


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