If you work in the construction industry and aren’t familiar with OSHA, now’s a good time to learn about how to ensure your workplace is safe. OSHA, or the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, provides employees (or their representatives) the right to file a complaint as well as requesting an OSHA inspection of their workplace in the event that they believe a serious hazard is present or that their employer isn’t following OSHA standards.
Even if you aren’t sure whether or not a specific standard has been violated, you still have the right to file a complaint. Be sure that you file your complaint as soon as possible once you notice the hazard or the lack of compliance. Timeliness is important because OSHA citations can only be issued for violations that have occurred in the past six months.
There are three ways to file a safety complaint with OSHA. The first is by going to the online complaint form. Complaints submitted online will be forwarded to the appropriate state plan for a response. Written complaints physically signed by workers carry more weight and are more likely to result in an inspection.
To file your written complaint by mail or fax, download it here or request a copy from your local OSHA office. Fill out the complaint and be sure to sign it or have your representative do so. Send the form to your closest OSHA office or you can also fax it in. Include your name, address, and telephone number.
You also have the option to contact your nearest OSHA office by telephone. This way you will be able to ask questions if you have them. In the event of an emergency or a life-threatening hazard, call your local OSHA office or dial 1-800-321-OSHA.