How to Report an OSHA Violation in Your NJ/PA Workplace
Every worker in Pennsylvania and New Jersey has a right to a safe workplace. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the federal agency responsible for creating and enforcing workplace safety regulations. It is OSHA’s responsibility to identify safety violations and unsafe workplace practices and make sure that these conditions are reported. However, OSHA has fewer than 3,000 federal inspectors and state consultants. These inspectors cannot adequately investigate each of the over seven million job sites in the United States. But, if there is a dangerous condition at your workplace, you can file a complaint and request that OSHA investigate.
How to File a Complaint with OSHA
Most workers are able to recognize potentially dangerous situations in the workplace, but they don’t know how to report these conditions and they are afraid that making a report will cost their jobs. So, they stay quiet. They go to work despite fears over safety because they need their jobs to support their family.
Fortunately, filing an OSHA complaint is easy and strict laws protect those who make a report from employer retaliation.
Five Steps For Filing an OSHA Complaint
- Tell your supervisor about the unsafe condition. It is possible that your employer doesn’t know that the safety hazard exists. Most employers would rather spend money to fix a dangerous condition than deal with the fines and penalties associated with an OSHA violation.
- File a complaint with OSHA. If your employer doesn’t address the unsafe condition, contact the OSHA Area office closes to your work location. OSHA has offices in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey. You can also call the toll-free number 1-800-321-OSHA (6742) or you can file an online report.
- Describe the hazard. You will be asked to describe the hazardous condition at your workplace. Feel free to provide any other information you will help OSHA understand the problem. You don’t have to know the names or numbers of OSHA rules or regulations.
- OSHA will contact your employer. An OSHA investigator will be assigned to your case. The investigator will contact your employer and begin an investigation. Your role will be kept confidential. The investigator will not mention the report or your involvement.
- Your employer has five days to respond. You will be sent a copy of your employer’s response. If you are not satisfied with your employer’s response, you may as that an OSHA representative physically inspect your workplace.
OSHA Violations and Workers’ Compensation
If you are injured because of an OSHA safety violation, you may call OSHA at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742). OSHA will investigate your accident and determine if a safety hazard was to blame. If there was a violation, OSHA will penalize your employer.
Because you were injured at work, you have the right to file a Pennsylvania or New Jersey workers’ compensation claim. But, if OSHA regulations were violated, you may also be eligible for additional compensation.
Normally, workers’ compensation laws prevent an injured worker from suing an employer. On-the-job injuries caused by employer negligence are treated like accidental injuries. However, the law makes an exception when an injury is related to an OSHA violation.
If you have proof that your employer violated OSHA regulations, you may be able to sue your employer for additional damages, including out-of-pocket expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If your employer was intentionally negligent, you may also qualify for punitive damages.
Our Workplace Safety Attorneys Are On Your Side
Ostroff Injury Law strongly believes in your right to a safe workplace. We feel that employers have a duty to protect worker safety. If you were injured because of OSHA violation, your employer did not meet this duty. Our work site safety attorneys can help you get the accountability and compensation you deserve. Call (484) 351-0350 to schedule a free consultation and learn more about your rights.