Employees have the right to work in a safe environment. Unfortunately, employers sometimes don’t take appropriate steps to prevent accidents and to protect employees from hazardous conditions. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) enforces rules related to safe working conditions. If you believe that your workplace is unsafe, you have the right to file a complaint with OSHA.
How to Report a Safety Issue in Your Workplace
OSHA gives workers several avenues to file a complaint regarding unsafe working conditions. If you notice a safety code violation or a circumstance or situation that you believe is unsafe, in most cases, you should first bring the issue to your employer’s attention. The company should then take steps to remedy the situation.
If your employer refuses to take corrective action to address a safety issue, you have the right to file a complaint with OSHA. You can fill out an online complaint form; submit a form by fax, mail, or email; file a complaint over the phone; or report a safety issue in person at an OSHA office. You can file a complaint yourself, or someone else, such as a labor organization representative, an attorney, a person acting as a bona fide representative, a government official, a nonprofit group, an organization responding to complaints or injuries from you or other employees, and anyone else who is aware of a workplace health or safety issue, can file a complaint on your behalf.
OSHA will evaluate your complaint and decide whether to conduct an off-site investigation or an on-site inspection. If you or your representative signs the complaint and submits it to an area or regional OSHA office, OSHA will be more likely to conduct an on-site inspection.
In some cases, you have the legal right to refuse to work until a safety issue is addressed. If the condition in your workplace poses an immediate risk of physical harm or death, there isn’t time for OSHA to conduct an inspection, you’ve brought the issue to your employer’s attention, and you would be exposed to the hazardous condition if you were to report for work, you may be allowed to refuse to work.
If you aren’t sure if a condition in your workplace is a serious safety issue, or if you aren’t sure how to respond to the situation, a representative from OSHA can discuss your case and answer your questions. OSHA will keep any information that you provide confidentially.
Order First Aid Supplies and PPE
Employers have a responsibility to provide safe working conditions. That includes having first aid kits readily available and providing personal protective equipment when appropriate. If you need safety supplies for your workplace or for your own personal use, you can find what you need at 1st Aid Supplies. Place an order today.