DIVISION OF OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH
POLICY AND PROCEDURES MANUAL

COMPLAINT EVALUATION AND DOCUMENTATION

P&P C-7
Issue Date: 2/1/87
Revised: 8/1/94, 2/1/95, 7/1/95, 9/1/96,1/1/00, 2/20/02,4/8/04, 4/14/08, 8/05/11, 2/29/12

AUTHORITY: California Labor Code Sections 6309, 6310 and 6312.

POLICY: It is the policy of the Division of Occupational Safety and Health to: (1) determine the validity, formality and seriousness of all complaints alleging a workplace hazard or a violation of a Title 8 Safety Order; (2) document all complaint-related information on the Cal/OSHA 7; and (3) investigate imminent hazard and formal complaints by an onsite inspection, and non-formal serious and non-serious complaints by a letter to the employer.

PROCEDURES:

A. INITIAL COMPLAINT EVALUATION

1. The Cal/OSHA 7 (Complaint) shall be completed electronically whenever possible by compliance personnel when the District is notified telephonically or in writing of a complaint.

NOTE: Complaints can be taken by District Office Support Staff, but only after they have been trained by the District Manager in the Complaint Processing Procedures found in this P&P and have been determined by the District Manager, after an appropriate training period, to take complaints competently.

2. During the initial evaluation of a complaint, District personnel shall obtain the following information:

a. Name and address of the complainant, when such personal identifiers are communicated by the complainant:

NOTE: All Division personnel who take complaints that are categorized as formal shall take reasonable measures to ensure that the complainant is a current employee of the employer from whose place of employment the complaint arises.

b. Detailed description of the hazard and location in the place of employment.

c. Identity of any employees who have been injured as a result of the complaint conditions.

d. Nature of the work performed in the area of the workplace which is the subject of the complaint.

e. Type and condition of any equipment or machinery in use in the subject workplace and any materials, chemicals, processes or operations involved in the complaint conditions.

f. How often the work task which is associated with the complaint conditions is performed and for how long at any one time.

g. How long the hazardous conditions have existed, whether the conditions have been brought to the employer's attention and, if so, whether the employer has made any attempt to correct the condition.

h. How many work shifts there are, what time each shift begins and during which shift the hazardous conditions occur.

i. Identity of any employees with symptoms which may have been caused by exposure to hazardous substances, identity of any employees who have received medical treatment for a work-related condition and, if so, the name of the condition.

j. How many people work in the place of employment, how many workers may be exposed to the hazardous condition(s) and their physical proximity to the hazardous condition(s).

k. Identity of any employee bargaining unit representative in the place of employment and the name, address, and telephone number of the bargaining unit representative and any other employee representatives.

3. Electronic Complaints Received via the OSHA Public Website

a. Electronic complaints submitted via the OSHA public website are automatically forwarded via email to a designated Area Office in the appropriate state. That Office then forwards the electronic complaints to the appropriate Program Office in the state.

b. The Program Office manages a “Complaints” mailbox and processes electronic complaints according to internal complaint processing procedures. The complaints mailbox is monitored daily and every incoming complaint is reviewed for jurisdiction.

(1)   If the complaint falls within the jurisdiction of the Program Office, the complaint is entered into IMIS and processed as usual.

(2)   If the complaint falls within the jurisdiction of a District Office, the complaint is forwarded appropriately.

c. The Program Office will coordinate with District Offices the processing of electronic complaints. The Program office will review the complaint(s) received on-line from the OSHA Public Website, review complaint(s) for completeness and may contact the complainant, if known, to obtain information that helps clarify the complaint and assist the Division in processing the complaint and forwarding it to the appropriate District Office for action. In State Plan states, the Federal Monitoring office will screen the complaints unless there is another arrangement. If the complaint falls within the individual State Plan’s jurisdiction, the Screening Office will follow the procedures developed with the State Plan for processing the complaint.

d. Complete an OSHA-7 form for all complaint information received. In order to facilitate the tracking of electronic complaints, enter the following code in the Optional Information field:

            N-11-LOGXXXXXX

             Where N-11 indicates that the complaint was filed electronically; and

 The digits following LOG are the unique complaint ID/log numbers assigned to the electronic complaint when processed by the Salt Lake Technical Center. The log number may vary and does not have to be exactly six digits. In entering the code, there is no space between the word LOG and the digits that follow.

e. All complaint-related material received electronically should be printed and date stamped with the date the material was submitted and received. When these dates are not the same, the Program Office will determine the appropriate date for the incoming material.

B.CONFIDENTIALITY AND ANTI-DISCRIMINATION PROTECTIONS

1. Labor Code Section 6309 mandates that "the name of any person who submits a complaint to the Division shall be kept confidential..." Therefore, no Division employee shall release a complainant name "unless that person requests otherwise." Since the Cal/OSHA 7 and letters to the complainant contain the name of the complainant, such documents shall also be kept confidential, unless the complainant requests otherwise. 

2. During the course of a workplace inspection, compliance personnel will make every effort to protect the confidentiality of the complainant.

3. When making a complaint, each complainant shall be notified by District personnel of their right to be free from discharge or discrimination by their employer for making a workplace safety or health complaint to the Division.

NOTE: Refer a complaint alleging that an employee has been discharged or discriminated against by their employer for filing a workplace safety or health complaint with the Division to the nearest office of the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE). See P&P C-90.

C. DETERMINING COMPLAINT VALIDITY

NOTE: All validity determinations shall be documented on the Cal/OSHA 7.

1. Valid Complaint

A complaint is valid if it alleges a workplace hazard or a violation of a Title 8 Safety Order which has a reasonable basis in fact and does not represent willful harassment of the employer.

2. Invalid Complaint

a. No Reasonable Basis (Too Vague or Unsubstantiated)

(1) Lacks Specificity

A complaint is without a reasonable basis if it lacks sufficiently specific information for the District Manager to make a judgment about the existence of a hazard or a condition which represents a violation of a Title 8 Safety Order in a particular workplace even after the complainant has been contacted by the District Manager to obtain additional specific information.

(2) Previous Inspection with Abatement Pending on Complaint Conditions

A complaint lacks a reasonable basis if it references the same condition(s) which were cited during a previous inspection by the Division of the same work area in the same workplace and the complaint is received during the time specified in the citation for abatement of the same condition(s).

(3) No Division Jurisdiction

A complaint is without a reasonable basis if it references a place of employment over which the Division of Occupational Safety and Health does not have any legal jurisdiction.

NOTE: If the District has any question as to the Division's jurisdiction at a particular workplace, the District Manager shall consult the Legal Unit through the Regional Manager to determine if jurisdictional authority exists.

b. Willful Harassment of the Employer

A complaint is not valid if the District Manager determines that the complaint represents willful harassment of the employer.

NOTE: A complaint may represent willful harassment of the employer if, to a reasonable person, it does not express a genuine concern about a workplace hazard, but is intended merely to annoy or irritate the employer.

D. COMPLAINT CLASSIFICATION AND INVESTIGATION IN GENERAL

All complaints shall be evaluated, classified and assigned by the District Manager for investigation to compliance personnel within the required response times. All classification determinations, including "no inspection planned," shall be documented electronically whenever possible by the District Manager on the Cal/OSHA 7.

1. Imminent Hazard Complaint

a. A complaint alleging that any condition or practice in any place of employment constitutes a hazard or danger which could reasonably be expected to cause death or serious physical harm immediately or before the imminence of the danger can be eliminated through regular enforcement procedures is an imminent hazard complaint.

b. All complaints alleging an imminent hazard shall be investigated immediately following receipt of the imminent hazard complaint.

c. When an inspection of an imminent hazard or danger complaint cannot be conducted immediately, the District may make telephonic contact with any source, including the employer who controls the workplace containing the imminent hazard or danger, to verify the nature and extent of the hazard and to require that corrective steps be taken immediately to protect the health and safety of employees.

NOTE: When telephonic contact is made with any employer who controls the workplace containing the imminent hazard or danger, such contact shall be considered to be Advance Notice and procedures pertaining to Advance Notice in P&P C-1A shall be followed.

2.    Serious and Non-Serious Complaints

a.    Serious

A complaint shall be considered to allege a serious hazard if there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a work condition, practice, operation or process.

b.    Non-Serious (General or Regulatory)

A complaint shall be considered to allege a non-serious hazard if there is no substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a work condition, practice, operation or process.

E. FORMAL COMPLAINT CLASSIFICATION AND INVESTIGATION

1. Definition

A complaint shall be classified as formal when it alleges a workplace hazard or a violation of a Title 8 Safety Order, and is received from an employee, an employee's representative, a representative of a government agency, or from an employer of an employee directly involved in an unsafe place of employment.

2. Types of Formal Complainants

a. Employee

For purposes of classifying a complaint as formal, the term "employee" refers to:

(1) A currently employed employee, whose name and address is given to the District, of an employer about whose place of employment the complaint is being lodged; or

(2) A currently employed named employee, whose name and address is given to the District, of another employer, if that employee is working at or near the first employer's place of employment and is exposed to hazards at the first employer's place of employment.

b. Employee's Representative

For purposes of classifying a complaint as formal, the term "employee's representative" includes the following individuals who have a representational relationship with an employee at the place of employment in which the hazardous condition exists:

(1) Attorney;

(2) Health or Safety Professional; or

(3) Union Representative

NOTE: Although union complaints generally do not fall under the high profile case criteria, managers shall notify headquarters should any significant, highly sensitive events/developments arise. Managers shall use professional judgment in assessing whether to report under this requirement. Cases generated under this Notification requirement may or may not be subject to a case review at the Headquarters level.

c. Representative of a Government Agency

(1) State or Local Prosecutor

For purposes of classifying a complaint as a formal complaint, and not a referral, a complaint from a state or local prosecutor shall be classified as a formal complaint without regard to the existence of a representational relationship between the prosecutor-complainant and any employee of the place of employment about which the complaint makes reference.

NOTE: When a complaint charging a serious violation is received from a state or local prosecutor, the District shall investigate the place of employment within 24 hours of receipt of the complaint.

(2) Other Governmental Agency Representative

For purposes of classifying a complaint as a formal complaint, and not a referral, a complaint from a representative of a government agency shall be classified as a formal complaint without regard to the existence of a representational relationship between the governmental agency representative-complainant and any employee of the place of employment about which the complaint makes reference.

d. Employer of an Employee Directly Involved in an Unsafe Place of Employment

For purposes of classifying a complaint as formal, the term "employer of an employee directly involved in an unsafe place of employment" refers to any employer whose employees are exposed to a hazard created by another employer, e.g., a construction contractor whose employees are exposed to a hazard created by another construction contractor.

3. Types of Formal Complaints

a. Serious

A formal complaint alleging a serious hazard shall be investigated by a physical inspection of the subject place of employment within three (3) working days of receipt of the complaint by the District Office.

b. Non-serious

A formal complaint alleging a non-serious (general or regulatory) hazard shall be investigated by a physical inspection of the subject place of employment within fourteen (14) calendar days of the receipt of the complaint by the District Office.

F. NONFORMAL COMPLAINT CLASSIFICATION AND INVESTIGATION

1. Definition

A complaint shall be classified as a non-formal complaint when it alleges a workplace hazard or a violation of a Title 8 Safety Order, and it is lodged by (1) an employee-complainant who does not or cannot give his or her name and address to the District; (2) an employee representative who cannot give the name and address of the employee whom the representative represents to the District; or (3) a non-employee. See Section E.2.a. and b. for a definition of an employee and an employee's representative.

NOTE ONE: Complaints received from an "employee" of an employer who is not currently employed by the employer shall be considered to be non-formal complaints.

NOTE TWO: If an employee seeking to file a complaint is reluctant to give his or her name, the complaint shall be classified as non-formal.  Employee-complainants shall not be pressured to give their name to the District .

2. Non-formal, Serious Complaint

a. Telephone Contact, Followed by a Facsimile/Email Letter in Lieu of   Inspection

A non-formal complaint alleging a serious hazard shall be investigated by the telephone contact/followed by a facsimile or email letter in lieu of an onsite inspection according to the procedures in Section F.2.b., unless:

(1) Complaint arises from an establishment which is part of a special emphasis program in support of a Strategic Performance Goal, such as, High Hazard Industry Enforcement.

(2) Complaint references a hazard which has already resulted in a permanently disabling injury or illness (e.g., amputation, blindness, threshold hearing shift, or 3rd degree burns) and there is a reasonable belief that the hazard still exists.

(3) Complaint arises from an establishment that has a significant history of noncompliance with occupational safety and health regulations or standards as determined by the District Manager (e.g., if the employer has a history of any willful, repeat or failure-to-abate citations, the District Manager may assign the current complaint for an onsite inspection).

(4) Complaint references an employer whose identity cannot be determined from the complainant, or from any other source available to the Division.

(5) Complaint is one which the District Manager believes should be investigated by means of an onsite inspection. Prior to initiating an onsite inspection in response to a non-formal, serious complaint, the District Manager shall first obtain the approval of his or her Regional Manager.

b. Complaint Evaluation In Preparation For Telephone Contact, Followed by Fax/Email Letter 

When taking a non-formal, serious complaint, District personnel shall (while the complainant is on the telephone filing the complaint):

(1) Inform the complainant that the complainant will be receiving a copy of the employer's written response to the Division;

(2) Obtain the employer's name (or employer contact person), the employer's telephone number, and the employer's facsimile number or email address; and

(3) Obtain, if applicable, the name, address and telephone and facsimile number or email address of any collective bargaining unit representative of the employees affected by the complaint hazard(s).

NOTE: Inform the complainant that the complaint has been classified as non-formal and that the Division may investigate the complaint by means of telephonic contact/followed by facsimile or email letter instead of an onsite inspection.

c. Telephone Contact with Employer

(1) Initiating Telephone Contact

The District Manager, or investigating compliance personnel who has been assigned to investigate a non-formal, serious complaint by the District Manager, shall initiate telephone contact with the employer, or the highest ranking representative of the employer, within three (3) working days of receipt of the complaint by the District.

(2) Making Telephone Contact

When successful telephonic contact is made with the employer, or the highest ranking representative of the employer, the District Manager, or investigating compliance personnel shall, during the telephone contact:

(a) Notify the employer of the existence of the complaint;

(b) Describe the hazards alleged in the complaint and, if appropriate, the specific Title 8 standard allegedly violated;

(c) Inform the employer that the employer is required to investigate the complaint item(s) and abate any hazards which are discovered during the employer's investigation;

(d) Inform the employer that the employer will be receiving a letter by facsimile or email (or by regular mail if the employer does not have facsimile or email capability) from the Division describing the complaint item(s) and the specific standards which are alleged to have been violated and that the employer is required to post a copy of this letter in a prominent location in their workplace where it is readily accessible for employee review for at least three (3) working days or until the hazard is corrected, whichever is longer; and

NOTE: The District Manager, or investigating compliance personnel, is responsible for obtaining the employer's facsimile number or email address if such information was not already provided by the complainant.

(e) Request that the employer provide the Division in writing (preferably by facsimile or email), within fourteen (14) calendar days of the employer's receipt of the Division's faxed or emailed letter, a letter describing the results of the employer's investigation of the complaint items, and a description of any actions taken, in the process of being taken and/or planned by the employer to correct the hazard(s), including any applicable measurements or monitoring results, invoices for equipment purchases, any photographs or video, which the employer believes would specifically document correction of the alleged hazard(s).

NOTE: Complaints which allege a health (exposure) hazard which require sampling or monitoring may necessitate additional time for investigation and abatement. When the District Manager makes a determination that the employer is willing to conduct sampling or monitoring (or have sampling or monitoring performed by another entity), then an appropriate time shall be fixed for the employer to conduct sampling and to report the result(s) to the Division. See P&P C-18, Section C.

(f) Inform the employer that a copy of the employer's letter from the Division, and all subsequent correspondence concerning investigation of the complaint, will be sent to the complainant;

(g) Inform the employer that if the Division determines that employer's response is:

I. Unsatisfactory for any reason, the Division will conduct an onsite inspection of the employer's workplace;

II. Satisfactory, that the assertions made in every fifth satisfactory letter are required to be verified by means of an onsite inspection.

d. No Successful Telephonic Contact Made

If successful telephone contact cannot be made with the employer within fourteen (14) calendar days, the District Manager shall assign the complaint for an onsite inspection.

e. Facsimile/E-mail Complaint Notification Letter to Employer

The District Manager, or investigating compliance personnel, shall send to each employer who is successfully contacted by telephone a Complaint Notification Letter (Letter "m") by facsimile or email within three (3) working days after telephone contact was made. See letter "m."

NOTE: If an employer does not have facsimile or email capability, then the District shall send the employer a Complaint Notification Letter (letter "m") by regular mail.

f. Notification Letter to Complainant

The District Manager, or investigating compliance personnel, shall send a Notification to Complainant Letter (letter "e") to the complainant (if the identity of the complainant is known) via regular mail together with a copy of letter "m."

g. Employer Response

(1) Satisfactory Response

If the District receives a satisfactory response from the employer, the District Manager or investigating compliance personnel, shall:

(a) Document receipt of the employer's satisfactory response;

NOTE ONE: A satisfactory response is one which indicates that the employer performed an investigation of the complaint items and either determined that a hazard was present and undertook appropriate corrective actions, or determined that no hazard was present.

NOTE TWO: If the employer informs the District that the employer has developed a plan to correct the hazards but has not yet had time to implement the plan, the District shall communicate with the employer to determine what interim protective steps will be taken until the corrective action can be completed, and, later, whether the hazard has been adequately corrected. On the basis of the information available about implementation of the corrective plan, the District shall determine whether an on-site inspection of the workplace is necessary.

(b) Send a letter "g" to the complainant with a copy of the employer's response (if the identity and address of the complainant is known); and

(c) Proceed to close the complaint if abatement of all complaint items has been documented, or send a letter "j" or "k" to the employer, and a letter "n" to the complainant (if the identity of the complainant is known) if the employer is still in the process of abating the complaint items.

(2) Employer Requests Extension of Time

If the employer contacts the District within fourteen (14) calendar days of receiving a Complaint Notification Letter (letter "m") to request an extension of time to respond to the Division's faxed or emailed letter, the District Manager has the discretion--after making a determination about employer's good faith--to grant extensions of time.

(3) Unsatisfactory Employer Response

When the District receives an unsatisfactory response from the employer, or when the complainant informs the Division that no corrective action has been taken or that the corrective action taken is inadequate, the District Manager may either:

(a) Attempt to work with the employer by telephone to secure a satisfactory response; or

(b) Assign the complaint for an onsite inspection.

(4) No Employer Response to Letter "m" Within Fourteen (14) Calendar Days

When the District does not receive any response from the employer to the Complaint Notification Letter (letter "m"), the District Manager shall:

(a) Contact the employer to ensure that the facsimile or email letter was received, and make a determination (based on the employer's good faith) whether an extension of time (up to an additional fourteen (14) calendar days) would be appropriate to grant; or

(b) Assign the complaint for an on-site inspection.

h. Fifth Satisfactory Letter Response Inspection

Even when an employer has submitted a satisfactory response, the District shall select every fifth satisfactory letter response received to conduct an on-site verification inspection to verify that the employer's investigative and corrective actions correspond to that asserted in the employer's letter response.

3. Non-formal, Non-serious Complaints

a. Letter Response in Lieu of an Inspection

Non-formal complaints alleging a non-serious (general or regulatory) hazard shall be investigated by a letter asking the employer to conduct an investigation of the workplace in lieu of an inspection by the District.

EXCEPTION: The District Manager may, but only with the approval of the Regional Manager, investigate a non-formal, non-serious complaint by means of an inspection.

b. Letter to Employer

(1) After receipt and initial evaluation of a non-formal, non-serious complaint, the District Manager, or investigating compliance personnel, shall prepare a letter (letter "d") to the employer which shall:

(a) Notify the employer of the existence of the complaint;

(b) Describe the hazards alleged in the complaint and, if appropriate, the specific Title 8 standard allegedly violated;

(c) Inform the employer that the employer is required to investigate the complaint item(s) and abate any hazards which are discovered during the employer's investigation;

(d) Inform the employer that the employer is required to post a copy of the Division's letter (letter "d") in a prominent location in their workplace where it is readily accessible for employee review for at least three (3) working days or until the hazard is corrected, whichever is longer;

(e) Inform the employer that a copy of the employer's letter from the District, and all subsequent correspondence concerning investigation of the complaint, will be sent to the complainant; and

(f) Inform the employer that if the Division determines that employer's response is:

I. Unsatisfactory for any reason, the Division will conduct an inspection of the employer's workplace;

II. Satisfactory, that the assertions made in every tenth satisfactory letter are required to be verified by means of an on-site inspection.

(2) The letter to the employer shall be sent by regular mail, or by facsimile or email.

c. Letter to Complainant

If the complainant's name and address are known, the District shall send a letter to the complainant explaining that the employer has been asked to investigate the complaint. A copy of the District's letter to the employer (letter "d") shall be included with the letter to the complainant. The complainant shall be sent a copy of all subsequent correspondence between the Division and the employer.

d. Employer Letter Response

(1) Satisfactory Letter Response

If a satisfactory response is received from the employer, the District shall:

(a) Document receipt of the satisfactory response;

NOTE ONE: A satisfactory response is one which indicates that the employer performed an investigation of the complaint items and either determined that a hazard was present and undertook appropriate corrective actions, or determined that no hazard was present.

NOTE TWO: If the employer informs the District that the employer has developed a plan to correct the hazards but has not yet had time to implement the plan, the District shall communicate (by telephone, facsimile, or e-mail) with the employer to determine what interim protective steps will be taken until the corrective action can be completed, and, later, whether the hazard has been adequately corrected. On the basis of the information available about implementation of the corrective plan, the District shall determine whether an on-site inspection of the workplace is necessary.

(b) Send a letter "g" to the complainant with a copy of the employer's response; and

(c) Proceed to close the complaint if abatement of all complaint items has been documented.

(2) Employer Requests Extension of Time

If the employer contacts the District within fourteen (14) calendar days of receiving a Complaint Notification Letter (letter "d") to request an extension of time to respond to the Division's facsimile or email letter, the District Manager has the discretion--after making a determination about employer's good faith--to grant extensions of time.

(3) Unsatisfactory Response to Letter

When the District receives an unsatisfactory response from the employer, or when the complainant informs the Division that no corrective action has been taken or that the corrective action taken is inadequate, the District Manager may either:

(a) Attempt to work with the employer by telephone to secure a satisfactory response; or

(b) Assign the complaint for an on-site inspection.

(4) No Employer Response to Letter "d" Within Fourteen (14) Calendar Days

When the District does not receive a response from the employer to the Complaint Notification Letter (letter "d"), the District Manager shall:

(a) Contact the employer to ensure that the facsimile or email letter was received, and make a determination (based on the employer's good faith) whether an extension of time (up to an additional fourteen [14] calendar days) would be appropriate to grant; or

(b) Assign the complaint for an on-site inspection.

e. Tenth Satisfactory Letter Response Inspection

Even when an employer has submitted a satisfactory response, the District shall select every tenth satisfactory letter response received for an onsite inspection to ensure that the employer's investigative and corrective actions correspond to that asserted in the employer's letter response.

G. NOTIFICATION OF THE COMPLAINANT

1. The complainant shall be notified of the results of every investigation conducted either by letter (telephone/facsimile or email letter) response or by onsite inspection within a reasonable time following the conclusion of the investigation.

EXCEPTION: Complainants do not have to be notified about the results of fifth or tenth letter investigations.

a. Onsite Inspections

(1) If an on-site inspection was conducted and citations were issued, a copy of any citations (Cal/OSHA 2s) issued as a result of the complaint investigation shall be enclosed with the notification letter (letter "h") to the complainant. The complainant shall be asked to notify the District if the employer does not abate the hazards which were cited.

NOTE: If unusual delays are encountered in issuing citations, e.g., greater than 30 calendar days, the complainant shall be informed of any such delay either telephonically or by a brief note by the District Manager or his or her designee.

(2) If no citations were issued as a result of a complaint inspection, the complainant shall be informed of that fact by a letter (letter "h") and provided any pertinent reason(s) why citations were not issued. The letter should include sufficient specificity and detail so the complainant understands why no citations were issued.

EXAMPLE:
Complaint item:  Construction workers are exposed to holes in the roof as they are transporting building materials across the roof.

Findings:  All roof holes were guarded by temporary railings and toe boards or by covers.

b. Letter ("d" or "m") Investigations

When the complaint is investigated by means of a letter (letter "d" or "m"), the District shall notify the complainant by letter (letter "g") of the results of the investigation and shall be asked to notify the District if the employer does not correct the hazards identified in the employer's investigation. See letter "g."

2. All complainant notifications shall be mailed via regular mail to the complainant's home address, unless the complainant has specified that the notification is to be mailed to the complainant's place of employment.

3. The complainant shall be notified of the results of an informal or pre-hearing conference or appeals board decision. See letter "o."

H. OFFICE PROCEDURES

1. General Procedures

a. When a complaint is received by the District, District personnel shall complete a Cal/OSHA 7 and enter the complaint data into IMIS.

b. District staff shall give the completed Cal/OSHA 7 to the District Manager, who shall determine the appropriate action to be taken.

c. After a determination has been made, a copy of the Cal/OSHA 7 is given to compliance personnel designated to conduct an investigation or generate a letter response. A copy is retained in the Pend File.

d. Whenever the District Manager determines that the complaint is invalid, the District shall send a letter "a" to the complainant.

e. District Staff may enter modifications into IMIS from any source including from a photocopy of the Cal/OSHA 7 or from information contained in employer letters.

f. Copies of all letters to the employer and to the complainant are filed in the District Office. Letters to the complainant shall be stamped or marked CONFIDENTIAL.

g. Non-formal letters to the employer shall be mailed REGULAR MAIL. Complainant letters shall be mailed through regular mail. Formal letters to the employer shall be mailed CERTIFIED MAIL, RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED.

2. Formal Complaint Letter Procedures

a. Written

When the District receives a written formal complaint, (either by letter or receipt of a Cal/OSHA or OSHA 7), the District shall notify the complainant within 14 days that "an inspection will be conducted and you will be informed of the results of the inspection when they are available" either by letter (letter "f") or by telephone contact.

b. Oral

When the District receives an oral formal complaint (by telephone or email), letter "f" should be sent to the complainant within 14 days after receipt of the complaint.

b. When the District completes an on-site inspection of any type of formal complaint, the District shall send a letter "h" to the complainant with a copy of citation(s) or, if no citations were issued, a "Notice of No Violations." See P&P C-1A, Cal/OSHA 1AX.

3. Non-formal Complaint Letter Procedures

a. Responding to a Complaint -- Letters "d" or "m" to Employer

When the non-formal complaint is investigated by a letter to the employer (letter "d" for non-formal, non-serious complaints) and letter "m" for non-formal, serious complaints), the District shall prepare a notification letter "d" or "m" to the employer.

b. Notifying the Complainant -- Letter "e" to Complainant

Whenever a notification letter "d" or "m" is sent to the employer, and the complainant's address is known to the District, the District shall send a notification letter to the complainant (letter "e") by regular mail. Enclosed with every letter "e," the District shall include a copy of either letter "d" or "m," as appropriate.

c. Receiving Employer Response

(1) Satisfactory Response

When the District receives a satisfactory response from the employer to a letter "d" or "m," the District shall send a letter "g" to the complainant and include a copy of the employer's response.

(a) Employer's Request for Extension

When the District approves an employer's request for extension of the time to correct the hazards, the District shall send a letter "k" to the employer and send a letter "l" to the complainant with a copy of letter "k."

(b) Employer's Failure to Indicate Time for Correction

When the District receives a satisfactory response from the employer to a letter "d" or "m," but the employer fails to indicate how long it will take for the employer to complete the corrections, the District send to the employer a letter "j" and shall send a copy to the complainant.

(2) No Response

When the District receives no response from the employer, the District shall send a letter "i" to the employer with a copy of letter "d" or "m."

d. Post-Investigation Letter Procedures

Whenever the District engages in an informal conference, pre-hearing conference or an appeals board administrative hearing, the District shall send a letter "o" to the complainant.

e. Complaint Closing Procedures

The District Manager may decide that a complaint will be closed for any of the following reasons:

(1) Complaint is invalid;

(2) Satisfactory letter response is received;

(3) All the inspections necessary to investigate all the complaint items have begun and the complaint has been satisfied; or

(4) No further investigative action, i.e., inspection or letter, is planned.

FORMS COMPLETION AND IMIS DATA ENTRY for the Ca/OSHA 7

SAMPLE P&P C-7 LETTERS

a -- Letter to Complainant -- Invalid Complaint
b -- No Inspection for Non-formal, Non-serious Complaint -- See Letter "e"
c -- Cal/OSHA 7 for Signature with Letter -- Do Not Use
d – Non-formal, Non-serious Complaint Notification to Employer
e -- Notification to Complainant with Letter "d"
f -- Acknowledgement to Complainant About Written/Oral Complaint
g -- Notification to Complainant -- Satisfactory Employer Response to Letter "d" or "m"
h -- Notification to Complainant -- Inspection Results
i -- "Dunning" Letter for Employer's Failure to Respond to Letter "d" or "m"
j -- Letter to Employer -- Correcting, but No Time Given
k -- Letter to Employer -- Let Us Know When Corrected
l -- Notification to Complainant that Correction Is in Progress -- Use with letters "j" and "k"
m – Non-formal, Serious Complaint Notification to Employer
n -- Confirmation to Complainant that Hazards Corrected -- See letter "g"
o -- Complainant Notification of Results of Informal or Pre-Hearing Conference or Appeals Board Hearing