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29 C.F.R. 1960.28: Employee Reports of Unsafe or Unhealthful Working Conditions

Stakeholders: DOE employees and other federal employees

Scope: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s 29 C.F.R. 1960.28 details the appropriate procedure for employees seeking to file employee reports regarding hazardous and/or unhealthful working conditions to the appropriate authorities.

Summary:

  • Any and all federal employees have the right to make a report regarding an unsafe working condition to the appropriate authority within OSHA.
  • If requested, this report and the identity of the employee(s) that authored it will be kept confidential and will only be reviewed by the Secretary and authorized representatives
  • Each report must be logged by the agency and this log must include at minimum: date, time, code/reference/file number, location of condition, classification (imminent danger, serious, or other), and date and nature of action taken.
  • In accordance with Executive Order 12196, if an employee report asserts that there is imminent danger agency inspection must be completed within 25 hours, potentially serious within 3 working days, and other than serious within 20 working days.
  • Within 15 days of an employee’s submission, the official reviewing the repost must determine if there is in fact a danger and if an inspection is necessary. If an OSHA inspection/report is authored, it will be made available to the employee 15 days of the inspection’s completion.
  • Employees are encouraged to use their agency’s safety and health programs to assess unsafe and/or hazardous conditions within the workplace. If necessary, employees may report unsafe or hazardous conditions directly to the Secretary of Labor.
  • If Secretary receives a report and there is an existing body with the agency to address this issue, the report will be forwarded to the appropriate agency. If not, the Secretary can initiate and inspection and take necessary action.

Any and all federal employees have the right to make a report regarding an unsafe working condition to the appropriate authority within OSHA.

29 C.F.R. 1960.28