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November 4, 2008    DOL Home > Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Question: What can I do if I think my workplace is unsafe?

Answer: If you believe working conditions are unsafe or unhealthful, we recommend that you bring the conditions to your employer's attention, if possible. Your employer may want to contact OSHA or your state consultation service in order to gather information about how to improve working conditions.

You may file a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) concerning a hazardous working condition at any time. However, you should not leave the worksite merely because you have filed a complaint. If the condition clearly presents a risk of death or serious physical harm, there is not sufficient time for OSHA to inspect, and, where possible, you have brought the condition to the attention of your employer, you may have a legal right to refuse to work in a situation in which you would be exposed to the hazard.

You may file a complaint with OSHA if you believe there may be a violation of an OSHA standard or a serious safety or health hazard at work. You may request that your name not be revealed to your employer. You can file a complaint on this web site, in writing or by telephone to the nearest OSHA area office. You may also call the office and speak with an OSHA compliance officer about a hazard, violation, or the process for filing a complaint.

Since 1970, workplace fatalities have been reduced by half. Occupational injury and illness rates have been declining for the past eight years, dropping in 2000 to the lowest level on record. But there is much more to do. Nearly 50 American workers are injured every minute of the 40-hour work week and almost 17 die each day. Federal and state OSHA programs have only about 2,500 inspectors to cover 111 million workers at seven million worksites. Workers must play an active role in spotting workplace hazards and asking their employers to correct them.



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