FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Reporting Workplace Injuries and Safety or Health Hazards

You need to report any workplace injury to your employer, no matter how slight. Your employer is required by law to file a First Report of Injury report with the Utah Labor Commission's Division of Industrial Accidents within seven (7) days of them being informed of your injury. They are also required to report the injury to the workers' compensation insurance carrier.

Call Utah OSHA at 801-530-6901 within eight hours of the occurrence of all fatalities; disabling, significant and serious injuries or illnesses.

You can file a complaint with Utah OSHA:

To come to our office or send a complaint form:

160 East 300 South
P.O. Box 146650
Salt Lake City, Ut 84114
801-530-6901

Utah OSHA recommends that employees try to resolve safety and health issues first by reporting them to their supervisors, managers or their company's safety and health committee. At any time, however, employees can complain to their Utah OSHA office and ask for an inspection or an investigation.

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 complain, and Utah OSHA will investigate the concerns reported.

The employees or their representatives must provide enough information for Utah OSHA to determine the nature of the safety or health hazards and whether they are potential violations of safety or health standards or other dangers that can cause injury or illness. This means describing the alleged hazard in enough detail so Utah OSHA can determine the existence and seriousness of the hazard. Workers do not have to know whether a specific OSHA standard has been violated in order to file a complaint, as long as they have a good-faith belief that dangerous conditions exist in their workplace.

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 in the establishment and how many are exposed to the hazard?
  • What is the nature of the exposure?
  • What type of work is performed in the unsafe or unhealthful area?
  • What type of equipment is used? What is its condition?
  • What materials and/or are chemicals used?
  • 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 condition?
  • How many shifts work in the area and what times do they start?
  • On what shifts does the condition exist?
  • What personal protective equipment is required by the employer and is the equipment used by the employees?
  • Has anyone been injured as a result of this condition?

The following are some additional specific questions for health hazards:

  • Has the employer administered 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?
  • Have there been any "near-miss" incidents?

There are two ways that Utah OSHA can respond to a complaint. Utah OSHA can either perform an on-site inspection or an off-site investigation, also known as a "phone/fax investigation".

While every worker has a right to receive an onsite inspection if certain conditions are met, there are times when a phone/fax (or letter) investigation may be a better alternative. A phone/fax investigation enables Utah OSHA to respond more quickly to lower priority hazards. It also permits the agency to concentrate it's resources on more serious workplace hazards. Employees who choose to request a phone/fax investigation do not give up the right to request an on-site inspection of potential violations and hazards if they are not satisfied by the investigation. Before deciding what kind of complaint to file, workers should call the Utah OSHA Office to discuss their options.

If an off-site investigation is appropriate, the agency telephones the employer, describes the alleged hazards and then follows up with a fax or letter. The employer must respond in writing within five days, identifying any problems found and noting corrective actions taken or planned. If the response is adequate, Utah OSHA generally will not conduct an inspection. The employee or employee representative who filed the original complaint will receive a copy of the employer's response and, if still not satisfied, may then request an on-site inspection.

If the employee or employee representative files a written complaint that meets certain conditions then an on-site inspection may be conducted.

Those conditions include claims of serious physical harm that have already resulted in disabling injuries or illnesses or claims of imminent danger situations; written, signed complaints requesting inspections; and situations where the employer provided an inadequate response to a phone/fax investigation.










 

 160 E. 300 S., 3rd Floor, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
(801) 530-6800 or (800) 530-5090
laborcom@utah.gov
Hours: Mon-Fri 8am-5pm