HOW TO FILE A
HEALTH AND SAFETY
February 02, 2015
The information presented here is intended to serve as
broad practical guidance for the union member. This information is not
intended to provide technical guidance to union representatives on
grievance processing procedures.
put, a Health and Safety
allegation is a
report of a condition that exists in your work place that you
believe constitutes a violation of the
Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. While a general knowledge of the Act
would be helpful in determining if your employer is or is not breaking the law,
it is not mandatory. Within this act, there exists a common-sense clause
known as "The General Duty Clause." Within this clause, a complainant's
allegation must have all four of the following elements present:
1. There must be a condition or activity within the
workplace that presents a hazard to an employee.
2. The condition or activity is recognized as a hazard.
3. The hazard is causing or is likely to cause death or serious physical
4. A feasible means exists to eliminate or materially reduce the hazard.
The objective of an allegation is twofold. First, it seeks to protect
union members from unsafe and unhealthy working conditions, and second, it seeks
to remove the hazard and ensure that the workplace remains a safe and
healthy place to work. In extreme conditions where individual employees
have been impacted, a grievance may be filed, which seeks some type of remedy for the affected
individual. The remedy may be in a form which makes the aggrieved
party "whole." Grievances never seek punitive damages as they are
not provided for under existing labor law.
WHAT TO DO TO FILE AN ALLEGATION
Ensure that you or a co-worker
has reported the allegation to a "work site" supervisor. Give them
an opportunity to rectify the unsafe or unhealthy situation. It
they fail to act then:
Document everything related to the suspected
Health and Safety violation. Specifically, document the who, why,
what, when, and where questions.
Be prepared to offer your recommendation in
regards to removing the alleged threat to your health or safety in the
Document your allegation either through the
Safety Allegation Tracking Database or by contacting the Union's
Health and Safety via
NOTE: You may remain anonymous, but identifying yourself will help in
assuring that the allegation is not repeated, thus making your work
place safe for all employees.
The union will respond to your
allegation by conducting a joint investigation with Sector's Safety
Manager. If the allegation is found to be based in fact and a
violation of OSHA Law, the Union will work with management to correct
the violation. If management is unwilling to correct the violation, it may become necessary to file a grievance on your behalf in order
to remove the threat or ensure that the work place is safe and healthy.
The grievance will be processed according to internal union
Article 33 of the contract, beginning with a Step I filing
(informal), unless otherwise provided by the contract.
Allegations may be filed without
Union assistance by completing
507, and forwarding it to the Sector Safety Manager. Please
call your sector's Safety Manager directly for more information and help
in reporting your allegation.