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What info should I provide in a Maryland worker safety complaint?

Maryland companies are required to maintain safe working conditions for their employees to ensure that risks are limited on job sites. However, sometimes blatant Occupational Safety and Health Administration violations exist that employers are not addressing. In such cases, OSHA provides a way for employees to file a complaint. So what kind of information do you need to provide in such a complaint?

First, workers should know that they do no have to have be aware of what specific standard is being violated. If a worker is fearful that dangers exist on his or her job site, that is enough to warrant an OSHA complaint and an investigation.

That said, workers getting ready to file a complaint should consider the following questions in order to make their notice to OSHA as clear as possible. The following questions are a guide and nothing more. Ask yourself these questions, use common sense and provide as much detail as possible when making your complaint. Here are the questions to consider:

-- How many workers are employed at your job site and how many workers are being exposed to the hazard?

-- In what way are you or your coworkers being exposed to danger?

-- How long are the employees being exposed to the danger?

-- What is the nature of the work being performed?

-- Are there specific kinds of equipment being used and is it in acceptable working condition?

-- Are there any specific chemicals ore materials being used?

-- Have employees been trained in proper safety procedure and are they carrying it out?

-- How long has this issue been present?

-- Have workers already suffered injury and/or have there been any close calls?

By answering the above questions, an endangered worker will have greater success when filing a complaint about an OSHA violation. Employees who have been injured may also have the ability to pursue financial restitution for their injuries in civil court. They may also qualify to receive workers' compensation benefits relating to their injuries.

Source: Occupational Safety & Health Administration, "How to File a Complaint with OSHA" Nov. 11, 2014

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