Part 1 – Letter in Response to Complaint
Dear OSHA Area Director,
Thank you for bringing to our attention the non-formal complaint made by one of our employees regarding welding operations being performed in an area with inadequate ventilation. We take these allegations seriously and have conducted an internal investigation to address the concerns raised in the complaint.
After reviewing the operations in question and the exposure controls in place, we do not believe that an on-site inspection is necessary. Our welding operations are conducted within the parameters of our written safety program, which includes appropriate ventilation controls and a comprehensive respiratory protection program.
Additionally, we routinely conduct air monitoring and personal exposure assessments to evaluate employee exposures to welding fumes. Based on the results of these assessments, we have determined that our exposure controls are effective in limiting employee exposures to below the OSHA permissible exposure limits.
Furthermore, the dust masks provided to our employees are not the only exposure control in place. We also provide respirators as part of our comprehensive respiratory protection program. These respirators are fit-tested and maintained to ensure their effectiveness in protecting our employees from harmful welding fumes.
We take the health and safety of our employees seriously and are committed to maintaining compliance with all OSHA regulations. We appreciate your attention to this matter and stand ready to address any further concerns.
[Your Name] [Company Name]
Part 2 – Answering the Questions
- Where does this type of complaint fit on OSHA’s Priority criteria?
This type of complaint would fall under OSHA’s Priority 3 criteria, which includes situations that are not an imminent danger to employees but have the potential to cause serious harm or death. OSHA would prioritize complaints in this category based on factors such as the severity of the hazard, the number of employees exposed, and the potential for exposure to occur.
- What factors could have made this complaint non-formal rather than formal?
The complaint was likely classified as non-formal because it was made by an individual employee rather than a group of employees or a representative of a union. Additionally, the complaint did not allege an imminent danger to employees, nor did it specify a specific OSHA standard violation.
- What steps could you take as the employer to identify the employee who filed the complaint?
As the employer, we would need to investigate the complaint to determine who made the allegation. We could begin by reviewing our records to identify which employees work in the area in question and then conduct interviews with those employees to gather more information.
- What factors could result in this complaint being reclassified as a formal complaint?
The complaint could be reclassified as a formal complaint if OSHA determines that the hazard poses an imminent danger to employees, if there is evidence of widespread exposure or if it uncovers significant violations of OSHA standards. Additionally, if the employer fails to adequately address the concerns raised in the complaint, OSHA could reclassify the complaint as formal.