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OSHA Frequently Asked Questions


Information for Workers

If my workplace is unsafe, what can I do?

If you believe working conditions are unsafe or unhealthful, we recommend that you bring the conditions to your employer's attention. At any time, a worker may file a complaint with OSHA to report a hazardous working condition and request an inspection. If the condition clearly presents a risk of death or serious physical harm and there is not enough time for OSHA to inspect, the worker may have a legal right to refuse to work.

How can I get an OSHA inspector to my workplace to evaluate unsafe practices?

The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 gives employees and their representatives the right to file a complaint and request an OSHA inspection of their workplace if they believe there is a serious hazard or their employer is not following OSHA standards. Workers do not have to know whether a specific OSHA standard has been violated in order to file a complaint.

Who can file a complaint and what are the steps?

Workers or their representatives may file a complaint online or by phone, mail, email or fax with the local OSHA office and request an inspection of a workplace if they believe there is a violation of a safety or health standard, or if there is any danger that threatens physical harm. A worker may also ask OSHA not to reveal his or her name. In addition, anyone who knows about a workplace safety or health hazard may report unsafe conditions to OSHA, and OSHA will investigate the concerns reported.

What should I do if I've been fired or punished for reporting safety or health concerns?

If a worker believes an employer has retaliated against them for exercising their safety and health rights, they should contact their local OSHA office right away. A whistleblower complaint must be filed with OSHA within 30 calendar days from when the retaliatory decision was made and communicated to the worker. OSHA will accept a complaint in any language. Call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742) or contact your local OSHA office.

Has my employer ever been cited by OSHA?

You can research your employer's inspection history through OSHA's establishment search. Type in the name of your company and choose the dates you want to cover.

Can my employer stop me from seeing injury or illness records?

No. Current and former employees, or their representatives, have the right to access injury and illness records. Employers must give the requester a copy of the relevant record(s) by the end of the next business day.

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