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Frequently Asked Questions

I'm a small winery am I required to have an Employee Health & Safety program for all of my employees, even temporary crush workers?

    Yes, to be in compliance with WAC 296-800-11035, an employer must "Establish, supervise, and enforce rules that lead to a safe and healthy work environment that are effective in practice." Safety training of your employees, including all of your temporary employees, is vital to ensuring all employees are able to arrive and leave the workplace safely, every day. Crush is a particularly important time to train and retrain, as crush occurs only once yearly and the specific safety criteria for crush needs to be reinforced and reviewed every year.

What do I need to include in my Employee Health & Safety Program?

    An Employee Health & Safety Program (Accident Prevention Plan) needs to be a written plan that includes at minimum a description of your safety program, safety orientation and training procedures, how and when to report injuries and unsafe conditions, and what to do in an emergency. An example of an Accident Prevention Plan can be found in the "Programs" section of this web site. In the "Forms" section of the site you will find blank forms that can be used to create your specific Employee Health & Safety Program. Also, you can find examples of various program elements being used at Washington wineries in the Resources Section.

What is the difference between OSHA and DOSH?

    The U.S. Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) in 1970 (USC 29 Chapter 15). The OSH Act directed the Department of Labor to develop and enforce workplace safety and health rules and regulations throughout the country. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSH Administration) is the agency that administers and enforces these regulations. Under the OSHA law, individual states may choose to develop and administer their own safety and health programs as long as they are at least as effective as federal OSHA. Washington State is one of the states that chose to run its own program.

    The Washington State legislature passed the Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act in 1973 (WISHA). This law is administered by the Department of Labor and Industries, Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) . Nearly all Washington employers are subject to regulatory enforcement by DOSH, not federal OSHA.

    Washington State wineries are subject to inspection by the Washington State Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH). Fines could be incurred if safety and health hazards are found during an inspection.

What have been some of the most frequently cited health and safety violations in wineries?

What should I do if I'm inspected by DOSH?

  • Don't assume the worst
  • Be honest and open
  • Be prepared to answer questions about your operation, possible workplace hazards, and things you've done to comply with DOSH standards
  • Be prepared to share the written health and safety programs you've developed
  • Escort inspector around your facility

Will DOSH help me work on my health and safety program without giving me a citation if they find problems?

  • DOSH will provide free health and safety consultations to assist you in evaluating the health and safety risks in your winery and developing appropriate strategies and programs to reduce hazards. DOSH consultants do not give citations, though they may require you to fix serious hazards.
  • DOSH will also help with Risk Management and Ergonomics.

I only work part time, am I covered by DOSH and Workers Compensation?

  • All workers (full time and part time) are covered by the requirements of the DOSH regulations and are entitled to Workers Compensation, if injured on the job.

Are volunteers covered by DOSH and Workers Compensation?

  • If volunteers receive any benefit, such as a case of wine, for working for you they are covered by L&I