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Member Resources > Safety and Security

HOW TO FILE A HEALTH AND SAFETY ALLEGATION

Last Updated: 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.

The basics

Simply 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 harm; and
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 work place.

  • Document your allegation either through the Union's Intranet Health and Safety Allegation Tracking Database or by contacting the Union's Director of Health and Safety via emailNOTE: 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.   

    • Please note:  Once the union has filed a grievance, only a union representative can modify or withdraw the grievance.  Additionally, only the union can seek to settle the grievance. 

  • The grievance will be processed according to internal union procedures and 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 CBP Form 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.

 

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