Workplace injuries that happen due to preventable circumstances are the most regrettable. Many employees notice these accidents waiting to happen but don’t take action because they fear being reprimanded by their boss or losing their job. That’s why it is important to know, due to the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employees have a right to file a complaint and request an OSHA inspection of their workplace.
While it is against the law for employers to reprimand or fire workers for filing a complaint, OSHA will withhold your identity from your employer if you request them to do so.
Filing a complaint with OSHA is serious business and not a decision to be made lightly. To ensure your complaint gets full attention, it helps to know how OSHA categorizes them. Complaints coming from employees, for example, are given greater attention than complaints coming from nonemployees or passersby. While it is against the law for employers to reprimand or fire workers for filing a complaint, OSHA will withhold your identity from your employer if you request them to do so. Some employees choose this option to give them peace of mind. Keep in mind, however, that your anonymous complaint will get treated as a complaint from a non-employee.
If you are a member of a union, your representative can contact OSHA for you.
If you are non-union, there are three ways to file your complaint:
OSHA has a convenient online form workers can use to send in their complaint through OSHA’s website. It is signed using an e-signature and forwarded to your nearest OSHA Regional or Area office. As with every method, you can indicate you do not want your name revealed to your employer.
- Mail or Fax
You can download a complaint form or request one from your local OSHA Regional office. Simply mail or fax your signed form to the closest location. Your information is kept confidential. Written complaints like this are more likely to result in an onsite inspection by the OSHA.
By calling your local OSHA regional office, you can discuss your complaint and get answers to any questions you may have.
No matter how you choose to file, make sure to describe the workplace hazard as clearly and completely as you can. Be sure to include how often the hazard poses a threat to you and your coworkers. If you’re able to, include photographs when you file.
Have you been hurt on the job and you’re not sure what to do? Call the personal injury attorneys at Greenman, Goldberg, Raby and Martinez at 702-388-4476 to set-up a free consultation.