• wpengine
  • June 2, 2020

I’m Ron Wittmeyer, and today, I’m going to talk about filing a health and safety complaint with OSHA.

Your rights as a worker

Under OSHA regulations, you as a worker have a right to a safe work place for any job site in the United States. That includes all private job sites as well as construction sites.

You also have a right to the tools and equipment needed to do your job safely. You have a right to be trained in a language that you understand. And you have a right to file a complaint if you believe there is a serious safety hazard on your job site. So, let’s talk about how you file a complaint.

How to file a complaint

You can call OSHA to file a complaint over the phone. OSHA’s phone number is 1-800-321-OSHA. Or you can go and file a complaint online, which is very straightforward. I’m going to walk through that process.

Go to the OSHA website, which is osha.gov. In the upper right hand search box, type in “Complaint Form.” And that will get you to a page entitled “File a Complaint.” Scroll down that page until you get to the section that talks about filing a safety and health complaint.

There’s another kind of complaint and that’s a whistleblower complaint. But today, we’re talking about a safety and health complaint. In that section, you’ll see a link to an online form. Click on that link. You come to a form that has about 19 questions.

Fill in the form

They’re all brief and straightforward. Be specific about the exact location of the hazard on the job site and the exact description of the hazard. You also have a right to remain anonymous as you make this complaint. You don’t have to give your name.

But if you do, it allows OSHA to contact you for more specific information if they need it. And from what I understand, it increases the likelihood that OSHA will actually come out to your job site and make an inspection, which is what you want.

About giving your name but keeping it confidential

Now, you can give your name to OSHA and still keep your name confidential and not have it disclosed to your employer. You can do that in Question 14. Make sure you check the box that says, “Do not reveal my name to my employer.” If you have any questions about this, feel free to shoot me an email.

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