Workplace safety is key in protecting employees from being subjected to hazardous work environments. The truth is, employees are often conflicted about how to handle safety violations in their workplace.
First, there is the fear of being fired or otherwise subjugated by their employer or fellow employees who may also afraid of repercussions. New OSHA rulings have provided protections for employees who report safety violations in the workplace and provide workers with the peace of mind that they can contribute to fostering a safe place to work without fear of being held accountable in a negative way by their employer.
Second, many employees simply don’t know what the proper channels are for reporting a violation. According to the website for OSHA, there are three primary ways to report workplace violations:
- Online – By going to this link, you can fill out the form online and submit your complaint in writing.
- Fax/Mail – You can download the paper form here, fill it out and send it in via fax or mail.
- Telephone – You can either call your local OSHA regional or area office or call 1-800-321-OSHA to discuss your complaint with OSHA staff and they can respond to any questions you might have.
According to the website, “Written complaints that are signed by workers or their representative and submitted to an OSHA Area or Regional office are more likely to result in onsite OSHA inspections. Complaints received online from workers in OSHA-approved state plan states will be forwarded to the appropriate state plan for response.”
Don’t be afraid to take action in you think that your workplace is unsafe. You can play a part in ensuring that you and your fellow workers are safe while you do your job.
For information on how to find your local OSHA office, got to www.osha.gov.