How to Contact OSHA Anonymously

How to Contact OSHA Anonymously

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), employers must provide employees with a secure and safe environment. Harmed or mistreated workers should report injuries and other safety concerns, especially if the workplace presents hazardous risks. 

Keeping your employees safe should always be your priority. If not, employees can contact OSHA to file an anonymous complaint. 

Read on to find out how employees can make an anonymous OSHA complaint against their noncompliant employers.

How to Contact OSHA Anonymously

Can Workers File An OSHA Complaint Anonymously?

Yes, but signed complaints are more likely to succeed and secure an on-site inspection. However, keep in mind that your employees can decide to remain anonymous for their safety.

When to Anonymously Contact OSHA

Employers can prevent employees from contacting OSHA immediately if they can reduce the risk and mitigate hazards in their workplace beforehand. In the event of an injury or accident, your workers will notify you since it’s your responsibility to eliminate any risks that might cause death or serious physical harm.

However, if you fail to implement your company policy, such as providing a timely resolution, that’s the time your employees can file a complaint against you. If they notice a persistent issue left unresolved, expect your employees to reach out to their safety or union representative. Once they’ve reported to them, you will receive a copy of the complaint.

But if your employees are still in imminent danger, such as risk of death or serious physical harm, they can legally refuse to work under these conditions. In this case, your workers have the right to contact OSHA immediately and stop working until they get an initial response from the authorities.

See also: What Is the Mission of OSHA?

How to Contact OSHA Anonymously

How to Contact OSHA Anonymously

There are several ways to file a complaint with OSHA. One way is to submit an anonymous OSHA complaint. Employees worried about retaliation can file a complaint anonymously for legal protection under the federal Whistleblower Protection Program.

Your employees might be wondering about the complaint filing process. Here’s how to get started:

1. Fill out the online complaint form.

Go to the OSHA website and download the online complaint form. After filling out the form, they can email, fax, or mail it back to the local OSHA office. 

2. Speak to an OSHA representative.

If you have any questions, you can always contact an OSHA representative to assist you. To report emergencies or injuries, call OSHA using their toll-free number at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742) or TTY 1-877-889-5627. You can also contact your local OSHA office or head to the office in person.

What Happens After Submitting an OSHA Anonymous Complaint?

Upon submitting the form, OSHA will contact you and the anonymous employee who filed the report for an investigation. Both parties need to respond immediately, or the complaint will be dismissed. Expect OSHA to notify you and give you ample time to respond.

Employers may ask for a copy of the complaint. However, those filed anonymously have no witness names or contact details on the form. Meanwhile, employees who filed the report can present further evidence and contact information once the investigation starts.

How to Contact OSHA Anonymously

Filing a Whistleblower Complaint

If you’re an employer subject to OSHA investigation, don’t do anything unlawful against your employee. Under Section 11(c) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, retaliation against employees complaining about unsafe workplace conditions is strictly prohibited. Employees who are retaliated against for making OSHA anonymous complaints can use the OSHA online whistleblower complaint form instead.

A whistleblower complaint applies to the following situations:

  • An employee reports a violation of the law of the employer
  • The employer has information about the employee’s complaint
  • The employer threatens or harms the employee who filed a complaint against them
  • The employee’s action motivated the employer to make threatening acts

The deadline for the whistleblower complaint varies from 30 to 180 days.

Understanding OSHA’s Policies On Protecting The Anonymity Of Reporters

Employees have the right to file a confidential safety and health complaint. And for employers, conducting regular workplace inspections is a must with or without a serious hazard. This is to prevent workers from turning against you upon noticing any safety risks that are likely to cause harm, injury, or fatality.

Some employees are afraid to speak up since they might get fired, demoted, or disciplined. However, they can still do so by getting legal protection against adverse actions that employers may impose on them. Remember, you must keep your employees safe and not the other way around.

For more information on anonymous complaints, you can head over to the OSHA website.

Kent Cañas

Kent is a content strategist currently specializing in HIPAA-compliant online fax. Her expertise in this field allows her to provide valuable insights to clients seeking a secure and efficient online fax solution.

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