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When Can a Complaint Be Filed?

VOSH recommends that employees try to resolve safety and health issues first by reporting them to their supervisors, managers or their safety and health committee. At any time, however, employees can complain to their local VOSH Regional or Field Office and ask for an inspection or an investigation.

Who Can Complain?

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, 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 VOSH will investigate the concerns reported.

What Information Must the Employee Provide?

Employees or their representatives must provide enough information for VOSH to determine that a hazard probably exists. Workers do not have to know whether a specific VOSH standard has been violated in order to file a complaint. They only need 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:

The following are some additional specific questions for health hazards:

(Note: It is not necessary to have the answers to all the questions in order to file a complaint. The list is provided here as a guide.)


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Virginia Department of Labor and Industry - Headquarters: Main Street Centre Bldg. 600 East Main Street, Suite 207, Richmond, Virginia 23219-4101
Telephone Number - Office: 804.371.2327 TDD: Fax: 804.786.2376 - Our Hours are from 8:15 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., Monday - Friday