How to Report an Unsafe Workplace

Report unsafe workplaces to OSHA before an accident happens.

Report unsafe workplaces to OSHA before an accident happens.

An unsafe workplace has the potential to harm you or your co-workers. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 allows you to make a complaint if your workplace is unsafe. File an OSHA complaint online, by fax, by mail or by phone to help keep your workplace safe.

Speak to your supervisor when you notice unsafe conditions at your workplace. Describe the nature of the danger and ask your supervisor to fix the situation. Remind your supervisor that OSHA gives you the right to work free of such dangers if she does not take it seriously. Make a note of when you informed your supervisor of the problem as you will be asked to provide it when making an OSHA report.

Gather up the information that OSHA will need from you, including the number of workers exposed to the hazard, how and when they were exposed and what work is being performed in the unsafe area. You should also know what equipment and materials are being used and whether employees have been informed of the hazardous conditions or especially trained to handle it. You will be asked to provide this information regardless of how you report it to OSHA.

Complete the online complaint form available on the OSHA website using the information that you have gathered. This is an easy option, but according to the OSHA website, the agency is more likely to perform an onsite inspection if a written complaint is signed by workers or their representatives and submitted to an OSHA office.

File a complaint by telephone by calling your local OSHA office. You can find the number for your local OSHA office by calling the national number at 800-321-6742. Have all of the information that you have gathered ready as you will be asked for the same information that is included on the forms. According to the OSHA website, OSHA staff can discuss your complaint and respond to your questions.

Complete a physical copy of the OSHA complaint form and sign it. Have your fellow employees or your representative -- such as a union representative -- sign it as well. This form is available in English or Spanish from your local OSHA office, or you can download it from the OSHA website and print it. Complete the form and mail or fax it to your nearest area or regional OSHA office. You can get the address and fax number for your local office by calling 1-800-321-6742.

Call your local OSHA office or the national OSHA number at 1-800-321-6742 immediately if there is an emergency or life-threatening hazard on the job site.

 

About the Author

M. Scilly is a writer and editor who writes for various online publications, specializing in business and management. He has a fondness for travel and photography. In his free time he enjoys marathon training.

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