All employers in Minnesota are bound by law to provide a safe environment in which for you and your colleagues to work. Even in dangerous occupations, safety procedures and processes are carefully outlined so as to keep you free from unnecessary injury while performing your job duties. Sometimes, however, you may become aware of a breach in these systems and notice dangers that are not properly addressed. In order to protect yourself and your co-workers, you may contact the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for help directly.
If you wish to request OHSA’s help with what you believe to be a hazard on the job, you will most likely start by filing a complaint with the agency. If you have a union, you will also want to get them involved. Union involvement aside, you will file your complaint either in person, via mail or via fax. Urgent matters can be attended to by calling in your concern.
OSHA should respond to your complaint within 30 days and you may want to make a note on your calendar to follow up 30 days after filing your complaint just in case. The first step for OSHA in most cases will be to contact your employer in writing. This can be a less adversarial approach than immediately initiating an inspection and often may resolve the problem. If, however, this does not resolve the issue, a physical inspection may result.
If you want to learn more about how to seek help from OSHA, please visit the workplace safety and health hazard page of our Minnesota job-related injury and illness website.