Filing a Complaint of unsafe, unhealthful, or report of reprisal

The purpose of employee reports is to inform bureaus and offices of the existence, or potential existence, of unsafe or unhealthful working conditions. This pages provide guidance for communicating safety and health issues to those with responsibilities for safety and health matters, e.g.. These channels of communication are intended to assure prompt analysis and response to reports of unsafe or unhealthful working conditions in accordance with the requirements of Executive Order 12196.  Since many safety and health problems can be eliminated as soon as they are identified, the existence of a formal channel of communication shall not prelude immediate corrective action by an employee's supervisor in response to oral reports of unsafe or unhealthful working conditions where such action is possible.

Any employee or representative of employees, who believes that an unsafe or unhealthful working condition exists in any workplace, shall have the right and is encouraged to make a report of the unsafe or unhealthful working condition to an appropriate bureau/office safety and health official and request an inspection. The report shall be reduced to writing either by the individual submitting the report or, in the case of an oral notification, by the above official or other person designated to receive the reports in the workplace. Reports of unsafe and unhealthful working conditions should contain specifics such as the nature and location of the problem. The report should also contain the name of the employee or representative of employees. Upon the request of the individual making such report, no person shall disclose the name of the individual making the report or the names of individual employees referred to in the report. In the case of imminent danger situations, employees shall make reports by the most expeditious means available.

Each report of an existing or potential unsafe or unhealthful working condition should be recorded on a log maintained at the establishment. If an agency finds it inappropriate to maintain a log of written reports at the establishment level, it may avail itself of procedures set forth in 1960.71. A copy of each report received shall be sent to the appropriate establishment safety and health committee.

U.S. Department of the Interior
Occupational Health and Safety Program - SafetyNet
1849 C Street, N.W., MS 5558-MIB • Washington, D.C. 20240
(202) 513-0767
..Last Updated on 07/24/08