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Complaint Handling Process

When you file a complaint with Cal/OSHA, the safety engineer or industrial hygienist who takes your complaint will ask you to describe the unsafe or unhealthy conditions you are reporting. When filing a complaint, you have the option to give your name or not. The name of any person who submits a complaint to Cal/OSHA must be kept confidential by law.

Each complaint is classified by the Cal/OSHA Enforcement unit district office to determine what inspection priority it’s given. Imminent hazard complaints are given immediate priority. Complaints from named employees (formal complaints) about serious hazards are given the next priority. Complaints from anonymous sources (nonformal complaints) about non-serious hazards are given the next inspection priority. Cal/OSHA often handles nonformal complaints by sending a letter to the employer asking them to investigate and correct the unsafe or unhealthy conditions in lieu of an on-site inspection. If the employer does not respond to the letter, or the investigation or the corrections are inadequate, an on-site inspection can occur.

If you would like to learn more about Cal/OSHA's complaint handling procedures, click on P&P C-7 in the division's Policy & Procedures Manual.

You can find answers to other frequently asked questions about safety and health complaints on the DIR workers’ portal.