Who can file an OSHA complaint and what for?

Workers who have experienced OSHA violations may not know what to do next. They may spend time debating whether or not their reason for concern is valid enough to file a complaint with OSHA, or they may wonder if their complaint will be kept anonymous.

As stated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, any OSHA violation is a good enough reason to file a complaint. Violations can include:

  • An unsafe workspace
  • A workplace in which OSHA standards are not being upheld by the management
  • Workplaces with insufficient training materials that are designed to prevent harm and increase safety
  • A building made with unhealthy materials
  • A building kept in an unsanitary state

OSHA takes any and all reports seriously and will investigate a business if reports have been made questioning the safety of that business’s practices. The person or people who make the initial report will also be protected with anonymity under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, as long as they request for their names to be withheld.

All employees have the ability to file a complaint with OSHA as long as the complaint addresses a safety and health violation or a potential physical danger. Things that are considered an “imminent danger” can also be reported, which includes any condition that could result in severe physical harm or death in a short time frame. Representatives of employees are also able to file complaints, which can include attorneys, social workers, family members, government officials, labor union officials or spouses.

Filing an OSHA complaint will almost always result in an investigation of practices and whatever immediate issue is brought to light. While this is not legal advice, taking these steps may eliminate some otherwise serious dangers in the workplace.


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