How To Respond to an OSHA Complaint

OSHA or Occupational Safety and Health Administration is under the United States Department of Labor, which ensures that people have good working conditions in the companies they work for. Assistance and education are being provided to meet its goals. If you own a business, you need to make sure that you comply with the standards of OSHA by providing a safe working environment for your employees. If an employee feels that the area where he works in is not safe, he can file a complaint to OSHA. A representative from OSHA will be inspecting the workplace and see if the complaint is valid. A written complaint will be submitted by the employee to OSHA. The name of the complainant will be confidential so you will not know who among your employees filed a complaint. This is to avoid discrimination as well as the possibility of being hard on the employee.

Here are the steps on how to respond to an OSHA complaint.

  • Review the OSHA terms. If you received a complaint from OSHA filed by one of your employees, visit their site and review the guidelines. This will give you a refresher on what are the things that you missed and need to correct. This will also give you an idea on the complaint process so you can ready yourself for this as well as the inspection, if one is done.
  • Respond to the complaint. You have 5 days to respond to the complaint. Include the specific complaints in your response and what you will do to resolve these. Make sure to explain carefully the steps that you will do in correcting the problems. If your response is satisfactory to OSHA, the complaint will be closed and onsite inspection will no longer be needed. OSHA will then notify the complainant about your response. If the complaint has been closed, you need to really correct the problems and resolve the complaints. If not, the employee can report you back and you will have bigger problems not doing what you promised OSHA.
  • Guide the OSHA representative. If the complaint was not closed after responding, be ready, as a representative from OSHA will inspect your workplace anytime. Since you already know the complaints, it’s best to act on these immediately. This will not only close the complaint but will also make your workplace safe not only for your employees but to you as well. It’s also better if you check all premises and see if there are other things you need to fix aside from the complaints. Though the representative will be focusing on the specific complaints filed, it’s still better to be ready as he might see other problems that need to be fixed making the problem bigger. Assist the representative and be cooperative. Once done with the inspection, you will be provided with the evaluation.
  • Work on fixing the issues stated in the evaluation. This is to make sure that the complaint will be cleared.

If you think that the problem needs legal assistance, you can always hire an attorney to help you with the process. To avoid receiving OSHA complaints, make sure to keep your workplace safe and communicate with the employees to know what their issues are.


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