Working in a place where your employer cares about your safety is a legal right for California employees. When you identify an unsafe condition within your work area, it is essential to know how and when you should report it to be heard. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you navigate this process in a complicated situation.
1. Identify if immediate hazards exist: If you encounter one that endangers you and your co-workers, take the necessary actions to avoid accidents or injuries. This could involve turning off equipment, evacuating the area, or contacting emergency services.
2. Notify your supervisor: Since you have identified a hazard that does not require immediate attention, you must inform your supervisor first. Typically, this should resolve the security situation and take necessary action.
3. Company reporting procedures: Before going to any outside entity, follow your company’s procedures for reporting unsafe conditions (if one exists).
4. Document all evidence of what is happening: Keep records of any unsafe conditions you have reported, including dates, times, locations, descriptions of the hazards, and the people you notified. These records can help if you have to file a claim or lawsuit.
5. File a complaint with OSHA: If your employer won’t listen to you or take action to prevent hazards, you can file a complaint with the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA). In these cases, you can file a complaint anonymously and feel more comfortable.
6. Protections you have against retaliation: California law offers protections against retaliation for employees who report unsafe conditions. This means that your employer cannot take actions, such as dismissal or demotion, in response to your complaint.
Understanding how and when to report unsafe conditions can help you feel safer in your workplace or report it if you don’t. If you require legal support for your case, do not hesitate to contact Lara Luna APC.