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Can I call OSHA to inspect a dangerous workplace condition?

As you know, there are government regulations for any type of company to keep their workplaces safe for employees and customers. Whether these regulations involve correctly labeling and storing hazardous chemicals for cleaning the office or keeping heavy machinery properly maintained and repaired at an automotive manufacturing company, employers are supposed to provide the proper training, education and safety equipment to prevent accidents on the job. Unfortunately, some employers in California and elsewhere fail to meet safety standards, resulting in numerous workplace accidents each year across the country.

What if you see a safety violation at your job that has gone unaddressed by management? Can you call officials from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration to investigate? OSHA’s website informs readers that this is possible, but they may first want to address the problem with their employers. For example, an employee or union representative may want to alert your employer to the safety concern and say that OSHA will be informed of the problem if it isn’t changed. This gives your employer the chance to fix the issue and avoid being cited, while also protecting you and your co-workers if your employer passes the inspection and isn’t required to make safety changes.

You are well within your rights to inform OSHA about any safety concern, especially if the issue is so severe that it presents an immediate or significant risk of serious injury and/or if your employer is aware of the problem but has done nothing to safeguard employees. It is advisable to be aware of your options before making a decision on how to make your workplace safer, as this information is not meant to replace the advice of a lawyer.

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