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What should I do about my unsafe working environment?

When you have a reason to believe that your workplace is unsafe, it is likely to make you feel stressed and worried. Perhaps you believe that a serious accident could be imminent, but you feel pressure from your managers to keep working anyway.

Health and safety in the workplace are extremely important, and you should not take any risks. As a worker, the state makes it easier for you to be able to take action in regard to workplace health and safety concerns. They do this by putting in place protections for you as a whistleblower.

What are my rights when it comes to making a complaint?

The protections in place mean that if you decide to complain about the health and safety of your workplace, you will be protected from workplace retaliation. This means that it is illegal for your employer to punish you in any way because of the complaint that you made.

What to consider before making a complaint

If you are concerned about the health and safety of your workplace, you should file a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). But first, you should make sure that you are confident that making such a complaint will produce positive results. If you have a union, you should consider contacting them first, unless you believe that the danger is imminent.

It is important that you understand your rights to file a complaint and the protections from retaliation that you have. If you have experienced workplace retaliation after making a complaint, you should consider taking action.

Source: COSH, "When to Call OSHA," accessed March 15, 2018

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