According to the Occupational Safety and Health Act, employees have the right to file a complaint with OSHA and request a safety inspection if they feel unsafe in their workplace. The complaint should be filed as soon as possible once the hazard is determined. This is necessary since OSHA citations are only valid for citations that are no more than 6 months old.
To report a labor violation, you need to acquire a complaint form first. Place a request to the agency in your state for the form. If you wish to file one with OSHA, you can do so online by visiting the official website. Click To Tweet
To report a labor violation, you need to acquire a complaint form first. Place a request to the agency in your state for the form. If you wish to file one with OSHA, you can do so online by visiting the official website. You can also download the OSHA form and mail it to the appropriate regional office to get the process started.
If you live in California, you cannot file the complaint online but you can download the form and send it to the relevant state office.
How to File a Complaint
Whether you are an employee, manager, representative or anyone who is aware of serious health and safety violations in your workplace, you have the right to complain to OSHA about it. You have 3 options in this regard. You can:
- Submit your complaint online via the electronic complaint form
- Download the complaint form in PDF version and mail it to the relevant OSHA regional office
- Call in the violation by dialing 1-800-321-OSHA or in your local office
All complaints that are signed and submitted to OSHA offices will result in inspections. In other words, if you want immediate action to be taken against your complaint, send it to the headquarters. Online complaints are also directed to the local office.
To complete the complaint form, you need to gather relevant information that can support your claim. This should be done ahead of time. In addition to the details of the hazards you noticed, you will also need to provide the following information:
- The number of workers who work on the site and who may have been exposed to the hazards
- How and when they were exposed to them
- The type of work performed around the hazardous area
- The materials and chemicals used around the hazardous area
- The equipment used by workers
- Whether workers have been trained regarding the dangers
- How long you were aware of the hazard
- Whether workers have been trained to inform supervisors about the hazard
- Any accidents or near misses due to the hazards
- Whether anyone was injured, and the attempts made to reduce risks
Before filing an official complaint with OSHA, try to take your concern directly to your supervisor or the manager. That is the fastest way to correct workplace and labor issues. If your concerns are ignored, you are well within your rights to contact OSHA and request an inspection.
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