Reporting OSHA violations is not to be taken lightly, but employees have the right to make complaints.  The occupational safety and health administration (OSHA) is responsible for worker safety and health protection. Under OSHA, employees have the right to:

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  • a safe and healthful workplace
  • know about hazardous chemicals
  • information about injuries and illnesses in your workplace
  • complain or request hazard correction from employer
  • training
  • hazard exposure and medical records
  • file a complaint with OSHA (anonymously if so desired)
  • participate in an OSHA inspection
  • be free from retaliation for exercising safety and health rights
OSHA recommends that employees try to resolve safety and health issues first by reporting them to their supervisors. However, employees can complain to OSHA at any time.

You can file a complaint online, in writing, or by telephone to the OSHA office with jurisdiction over your workplace. The easiest and most complete way to file your complaint is with OSHA's official complaint form, but you can submit your own written description of the hazard if you prefer. Your complaint will need to include the name and contact information for the business as well as the description and location of the hazard.

OSHA will ask for sufficient information to determine that the hazard likely exists. Examples of information that help OSHA's determination include:
  • How many employees work at the site and how many are exposed to the hazard?
  • How and when are workers exposed?
  • What work is performed in the unsafe or unhealthful area?
  • What type of equipment is used? Is it in good condition?
  • What materials and/or chemicals are used?
  • Have employees been informed or trained regarding hazardous conditions?
  • What process and/or operation is involved?
  • What kinds of work are done nearby?
  • How often and for how long do employees work at the task that leads to their exposure?
  • How long (to your knowledge) has the condition existed?
  • Have any attempts been made to correct the problem?
  • On what shifts does the hazard exist?
  • Has anyone been injured or made ill as a result of this problem?
  • Have there been any "near-miss" incidents?
  • Do any employees have any symptoms that they think are caused by the hazardous condition or substance?
  • Have any employees been treated by a doctor for a work-related disease or condition? What was it?
If OSHA decides to inspect your workplace, you have the right to participate in the inspection, speak with the inspectors privately, and remain anonymous.

If you need more help, consult with an attorney.

Get started Visit our Employer Center Create documents and ask a lawyer your questions.

Get started Visit our Employer Center Create documents and ask a lawyer your questions.