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How can I report a safety violation at work?

Minnesota employees are supposed to be guaranteed the right to a safe workplace under the law. This is the case whether you work in an office, in a hospital, in an airport, on a construction site, or anywhere else. Your employer is always bound by the guidelines put forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to prevent hazards and to address them if they arise. As an employee, you may often see firsthand when a new hazard becomes present. How do you alert the proper people to this type of situation?

Some people may feel comfortable approaching an employer about a danger on the job. Others, however, may not be able to do so for fear of retaliation or other consequences. In these situations or when an employer fails to address a hazard that has been brought forth, employees can file complaints directly with OSHA. In these complaints, you may request that OSHA representatives inspect your workplace.

When making a complaint, if your situation is urgent, it is best to call OSHA. If there is no emergent danger, you can submit your complaint via fax, physical mail or email. Be prepared to give as many details as possible about the danger you see, including where exactly it is located. In order to protect employees, OSHA does offer you the option of complete confidentiality so that your employer will not know you made a report.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but general information for Minnesota employees about how to report suspected hazards on job sites.

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