School Health & Safety Program

The health district reviews K-12 school construction projects (including playgrounds) to ensure the health and safety of students and the community.


The health district is part of the construction process for public, private and parochial K-12 schools, including sites for homeschool enrichment programs. Health district involvement is required by law (Washington State Board of Health Primary and Secondary School Regulations Chapter 246-366 WAC) for projects defined as “new construction”. Approval is required before construction starts and after the project is completed (before occupancy).

General School Construction

Health district review complements a building department review.  It considers a school’s proposed curriculum and determines appropriate health and safety requirements, like the need for fume hoods in chemistry labs; the building department ensures the correct design and construction of those items.  

During the construction process, the health district must:  

  • Review/approve proposed K-12 school sites to ensure they do not present any health problems.
  • Review/approve school construction plans and specifications before construction.
  • Conduct pre-occupancy inspections prior to use.  

IMPORTANT NOTE: it is the school’s responsibility to submit plans and request inspections. The building department DOES NOT automatically forward plans or requests for pre-occupancy inspections.

What is the school construction review process? Click here to learn more.

Playground Construction

Health district review/approval is required for proposed changes or modifications to any portion of a school playground.  The health district must:  

  • Review/approve the proposed playground equipment and site. Our review ensures the equipment meets national guidelines and standards, is age-appropriate, and will be installed over proper surfacing (resilient) with adequate use zones.  This review should be conducted before any equipment is purchased. 
  • Conduct a pre-occupancy inspection of the installed equipment. We inspect the installed equipment prior to its use to ensure it has been installed per approved plans (i.e., correct model and placement of equipment and adequate surfacing). 

What is the playground review process? Click here to learn more.
Does your project need health district approval?
Does your project need health district approval?

Projects like purchasing/leasing property, remodeling, installing portables, moving shop equipment and upgrading lights need approval. Read our School Construction Review Handout & FAQs for more info.

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