Step 4 - Safety


Stay safe and avoid citations. The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L & I) administers safety rules and requirements for the construction industry. You must comply with these requirements.

Know the rules that apply to you

All of the applicable Safety Standards for Construction can be found in Chapter 49.17 RCW and Chapter 296-155 WAC.
• Review L & I’s safety section on Contractors for an overview, training tools, videos, fact sheets, and other helpful resources.

Avoid Common Citations

Review the follow WACs to avoid penalties:
• Ladders - Chapter 296-876 WAC Ladders, Portable and Fixed
• Scaffolds - Chapter 296-874 WAC Scaffolds
• Elevating Work Platforms – Chapter 296-869 WAC Elevating Work Platforms

Learn how to spot & correct hazards

Review Begin with Hazards to keep you safe.

Top 10 violations

Review the Top 10 Violations in construction and avoid a citation.

Learn what to do if you get a citation: Review L & I’s Citation and Notice page to view penalties and required notifications.

Working with Lead, Asbestos or Silica

Lead, asbestos and silica materials can be highly toxic and are often found in construction.
Review the information below to learn about certification, reporting requirements and controlling exposure.
• Lead-based paint - Lead
• Asbestos - About Asbestos
• Silica - Silica


As an employer, you have responsibilities to ensure a safe workplace for your employees. Here are basic requirements that apply to you:

Safety & Health Standards for Employers
Know the Construction Industry Safety & Health Standards that apply: Ensure workers can return home safely to their families.

Do you (or will you) use independent contractors?
Someone you consider an “independent contractor” may actually be considered a covered worker. Review the Independent Contractor Guide to avoid unexpected penalties.

Safety Posters & First-Aid
Safety posters must be posted in your workplace: View L & I’s Workplace Safety Posters page to order and to get answers to questions about them.

First-aid training is required: Review WAC 296-155-120 to learn who needs to have valid first-aid certificates on your job sites.

Accident Reporting
Employers must report employee accidents: By calling 1-800-423-7233. Review If Your Employee is Injured to learn how to file your Employer’s report and follow-up on claim information.

You need to conduct an investigation of certain types of accidents: Review L & I’s Fatalities & Injuries page to understand how to meet the requirements of documenting your preliminary investigation, if required.

Accident Prevention Program (APP) & Safety Meetings
You need an APP: Large and small employers are required to develop an Accident Prevention Program (APP). View Provide Programs & Training to find resources to help you write and implement your APP.

Additional Hazard Program Requirements
Depending on the hazards in your workplace, other safety and health programs may be required.

Required crew safety meetings: View L & I’s Guide to Crew Safety Meetings for the Construction Industry to learn when to have them and what you must do.

Fall Protection
Regardless of fall distance: You must protect employees from fall hazards, such as floor holes or open sided walkways, platforms, or runways above or adjacent to dangerous equipment per WAC 296-155-24607.

4 feet or more: You must ensure appropriate fall protection is provided, installed and implemented per WAC 296-155-24609 if working at heights of 4 feet or more. View L & I’s Fall Protection, Fall Restraint & Fall Arrest to learn about exceptions and Fall Protection in Washington State to identify the fall protection trigger heights for the construction industry.

10 feet or more: You will need a written Fall Protection Work Plan if working at heights of 10 feet or more per WAC 296-155-246. View helpful Presentations from L & I on fall protection and Sample Plans to modify for your business.

Free help is available
L&I’s Division of Occupational Safety & Health Consultation Program (DOSH) offers a no-cost, confidential consultation to help you establish or strengthen your workplace safety program.

These tools are provided for guidance purposes and should not be used as a substitute for codes and regulations. The user is responsible for compliance with all requirements, regardless of whether they are referred to or contained within these documents.