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How to Properly Report Unsafe Workplace Practices

HomeBlogHow to Properly Report Unsafe Workplace Practices
August 12, 2022

Federal laws require safe working environments for all employees. Your employer is responsible for maintaining a workplace that is free of threats to health and safety. Unfortunately, there are times when an employer fails to establish necessary protections to keep their workers safe. In these situations, employees must know how to properly report dangerous practices.

Olivier & Schreiber LLP is committed to representing employees facing whistleblower retaliation and other matters in the workplace. 

Understand What Defines an Unsafe Workplace Practice

If you’ve witnessed unsafe practices in your workplace, you may wonder whether the situation calls for legal action. Essentially, an unsafe practice is one that prevents employees from performing their work duties due to dangers posed to their physical health. Possible unsafe workplace practices may include: 

  • Using broken machinery or equipment
  • Handling dangerous materials without proper protection
  • Facing risk for injuries due to falling objects or toxic vapors
  • Poorly managed conditions that may lead to slip and fall accidents
  • Employer neglects the hazardous conditions

Know Your Rights As An Employee

Before filing a report, employees should know the laws that protect them from retaliation and other consequences. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) promotes safe, healthy working environments by establishing several federally-recognized laws. 

As an employee, you have the right to:

  • Be trained on workplace health and safety in a language you can understand
  • Work with safe machinery
  • Receive the safety equipment that you need, including a harness and lifeline or gloves
  • Be protected from exposure to dangerous chemicals
  • Receive copies of your medical records and file a report of any injuries or illnesses
  • Speak to an OSHA inspector
  • Examine the records of illnesses or injuries that were sustained at work
  • Read test results that may reveal occupational risks

In addition to federal laws, California employees are protected under state laws. Our attorneys can help you fully understand your right to a safe work environment and how these laws may impact your case. 

Filing a Complaint With the OSHA

Every employee has the right to file a safety and health complaint with the OSHA. You may request an inspection of your working environment if there is reasonable suspicion that you face a safety hazard or if you believe your employer fails to uphold OSHA standards. File your complaint as early as possible after you’ve noticed the hazards. 

To submit a complaint, you can use the online complaint form as well as contact the OSHA by mail, email or telephone. You’ll need to provide details about the incident, which may include the business’s location, address, description of the hazard and other relevant information about your worksite. Our attorneys can help you determine the right option based on your specific circumstances. 

Contact an Attorney

If you believe your workplace environment is hazardous and you aren’t certain of what steps to take next, contact our attorneys at Olivier & Schreiber LLP for advice. We continuously strive to protect employees’ rights when they are faced with a range of legal difficulties. There are a number of ways that your employer may violate state and federal workplace safety laws, and if you believe your workplace is unsafe, file a report alongside our knowledgeable attorneys. 

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