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Robby Jones
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(704) 665-4341

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(919) 779-8512


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Contact OSH Complaint Desk
NC Department of Labor
Occupational Safety & Health Division
Complaint Desk
1101 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC  27699-1101
(919) 779-8560
1-800-NC-Labor (in-state only)
Fax:  (919) 779-8559

Complaint.Desk@labor.nc.gov

How to File a Complaint with OSH

The North Carolina Occupational Safety and Health Act gives employees the right to file complaints about workplace safety and health hazards.  Further, the act gives complainants the right to request that their names not be revealed to their employers.  Complaints from employees and their representatives are taken seriously by Occupational Safety and Health Division (OSH) and appropriate actions will be taken in a timely manner.

If you would like to report hazardous conditions at your worksite to OSH, please choose one of the following:

  • File a complaint online if you believe your working conditions are unsafe or unhealthful.  If you are concerned about confidentiality, you may prefer to file your complaint from your home computer or a computer in your local library.

  • If you use Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome as your web browser and the form does not submit, please attempt using Microsoft Internet Explorer or a different version of Firefox.

  • You may also file an electronic complaint on the Federal OSHA website and it will be forwarded to the NCDOL OSH Division Complaint Desk.

  • Download the OSH complaint form in PDF format, complete it and then fax or mail it to the OSH Complaint Desk. Be sure to include your name, address and telephone number so we may contact you. Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view and print this form.

  • If you wish you may report hazardous conditions to OSH by phone.

Additional Information

For more information on filing a complaint, see the following:

When can a complaint be filed?
Who can file a workplace safety/health complaint with OSH?
What information must be provided?
How does OSH respond to complaints?
Can I be punished or discriminated against for filing a complaint?


When Can a Complaint Be Filed?
OSH recommends that employees try to resolve safety and health issues first by reporting them to their supervisors, managers or the workplace safety and health committee.  At any time, however, employees can file a complaint with the OSH Complaint Desk.  OSH jurisdiction is limited to workplaces within North Carolina and includes only hazards that currently exist or have existed within the past six months.

Who Can File a Workplace Safety/Health Complaint with OSH?
Employees or their representatives have a right to request an inspection of a workplace if they believe there is a violation of a safety or health standard, or if there is any danger that threatens physical harm, or if an "imminent danger" exists.  Anyone who knows about a workplace safety or health hazard may file a complaint, and OSH will investigate the concerns reported.

What Information Must be Provided?
Employees or their representatives must provide enough information for OSH to determine that a hazard possibly exists.  Workers do not have to know whether the specific OSHA standard has been violated in order to file a complaint.

Because it is important to give as much complete and accurate information as possible about an alleged hazard, answers to the following types of questions may be useful:

  • How many employees work at the site and how many are exposed to the hazard?
  • How and when are workers exposed?
  • What work is performed in the unsafe and unhealthful area?
  • What type of equipment is used?  Is it in good condition?
  • What materials and/or chemicals are used?
  • Have employees been informed or trained regarding hazardous conditions?
  • What process and/or operation is involved?
  • What kinds of work are done nearby?
  • How often and for how long do employees work at the task that leads to their exposure?
  • How long (to your knowledge) has the condition existed?
  • Have any attempts been made to correct the problem?
  • How many shifts work in the area and what times do they start?  On what shifts does the hazard exist?
  • What personal protective equipment is required by the employer?  Is the equipment used by the employees?
  • Has anyone been injured or made ill as a result of this problem?
  • Have there been any "near-miss" incidents?
The following are some additional specific questions for health hazards:
  • Has the employer conducted any tests to determine if employees are exposed to the hazardous condition or substance?
  • What are these tests and the results of the tests?
  • What steps has the employer taken, if any, to control the hazard?
  • Do any employees have any symptoms that they think are caused by the hazardous condition or substance?
  • Have any employees been treated by a doctor for a work-related disease or condition?  What was it?
How Does OSH respond to Complaints?
There are two ways that OSH can respond to a complaint.  OSH can either perform an on-site inspection or an off-site investigation.

Although every employee has a right to request an onsite inspection if certain conditions are met, there are times when a phone/fax (or letter) investigation may be a better alternative.  This approach enables OSH to respond quickly to lower-priority hazards, and enables the agency to concentrate resources on the most serious workplace hazards.  Employees who request an off-site investigation do not give up their right to request an on-site inspection of potential violations and hazards if they are not satisfied with the investigation.  Workers should call their nearest OSH Field Office to discuss their options.

Can I be punished or discriminated against for filing a complaint?
Employees or their representatives have the right to file a complaint with OSH, without being subject to discrimination associated with their complaint.  The Labor Laws of North Carolina authorize the Employment Discrimination Bureau (EDB) to investigate employee complaints of employer discrimination against those who are involved in safety and health activities.

Some examples of discrimination are firing, demotion, transfer, layoff, losing opportunity for overtime or promotion, exclusion from normal overtime work, assignment to an undesirable shift, or denial of benefits such as sick leave or vacation time.

For more information, or to file a discrimination complaint contact the EDB:

Telephone: 1-800-NC-LABOR (1-800-625-2267) (in-state-only) or (919) 807-2823 (local and out-of-state).
Press Option 3 for Discrimination and then ask for the Information Officer.  You may also electronically contact the EDB at dol.askedb@labor.nc.gov

 

 

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