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Hazard Reporting

Many accidents can be prevented. As stated in 240 FW 6, "Reports of unsafe or unhealthful conditions by employees are an important means of identifying potential hazards before accidents occur, and are encouraged at all levels." A lot of accidents are caused by hazards that were foreseen, but ignored. If a hazard exists, it is the duty of the person who sees that hazard to report it.

Employees should first report a hazard to their supervisor. The report can be verbal, or it can be Image of maintenance worker.written. The supervisor should then take the steps necessary to eliminate the hazard. For example, an employee notices that a power saw does not have a proper guard. They report the problem to their supervisor, who should then make sure that a new guard is purchased and installed before the saw is used again. This sort of reporting is a very simple and cost-effective way of preventing very serious accidents later on.

 

Reporting A Hazard to the Regional Safety Offices

A hazard being eliminated at the first level is the ideal scenario, however it is not always possible. Some safety hazards are more complex than others, and some may require the assistance of the Regional Safety Office. 

  • Hazard Reporting Form - should be used whenever possible. Normally, reports should be signed, but anonymous reports will be investigated in the same way as signed reports. You can still remain anonymous even if you sign the Hazard Report. If you ask to remain anonymous, your identity will not be revealed by the Regional Safety Officer to anyone not authorized by the OSHA Act. Ananymous reporting can also be done through the email system.¬† Ananymous reporting can also be done through the email system by using the following link:

    Report a hazard on-line (Anonymous)
    Note: Anonymous email reporting available for FWS employees only.

  • If a hazard involves an immediate danger to life and health, it can be reported by phone so as to speed up the investigation process, then followed up with a written report. Imminent danger reports will be investigated immediately.

What happens after you submit a hazard report

  • If the Safety office knows the identity of the person who submitted a report, that person will be notified of the results of the investigation within 10 working days or otherwise provided an interim response. 
    • An inspection may not be necessary if the hazard can be abated immediately.
  • If the report is verified, the person who made the report will be notified of any corrective actions taken.
    • If it is determined that a hazardous condition does not exist, the Regional Safety Officer will try to explain the reasons for that determination. Every effort, including consultation with the nearest OSHA office, will be made to resolve the reporter's questions or dissatisfaction.

REMEMBER - If you are dissatisfied with the response from the Regional Safety Officer, you do have the right to appeal. An appeal may be submitted to the Regional Director, and beyond that, a second appeal may be submitted to the Director of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. You will be informed of your rights upon being given the results of each investigation.