Unit I Assignment Hi Jerry! This is your OSHA’s Area Director. We received a non-formal complaint recently from one of your current employees. The complaint alleges that employees there are performing welding operations on stainless steel in an area with inadequate ventilation. This employee also states that they frequently “cough up” black sputum, and that they are worried about the health consequences caused by this lack of ventilation. The complaint further states that no air sampling has been performed to evaluate the employees’ exposures to welding fumes. And, that when asked for respirators, they were given “dust masks” with one strap, which were purchased at the local hardware store. The effectiveness of these dust masks for the exposure that is present is also in question. I will also be sending you an email summarizing this non-formal complaint, so that you can respond accordingly. Thanks Jerry! Goodbye. Part 1  Draft a letter in response to the complaint. Your letter should summarize why you believe the complaint is invalid and no on-site inspection is required. Keep in mind, simply stating that the complaint is invalid is not adequate. You must support your opinions in the letter.  Part 2  (Answer the following question on the page 2 of your word document) Answer the questions below in a few sentences.  1. Where does this type of complaint fit on OSHA’s Priority criteria?  2. What factors could have made this complaint non-formal rather than formal?  3. What steps could you take as the employer to identify the employee who filed the complaint? 4. What factors could result in this complaint being reclassified as a formal complaint?  Save both parts of this assignment in one word document to submit for grading. Unit II Assignment Discussion Question Question 1 Under what conditions can an employee be denied access to the opening conference, walk-around, and closing conference? Your response should be at least 75 words in length. Question 2 If the OSHA compliance officer requests documents that are not related to a formal complaint, what options do you believe the employer has? Your response should be at least 75 words in length. Question 3 If OSHA determines that an employer’s response to a non-formal complaint is adequate, what options does the employee filing the non-formal complaint have? Your response should be at least 75 words in length. Question 4 Can an employee request that an attorney or union representative attend a private conference with the compliance officer? If the union demands to have a representative present, does the employee have to comply? Your response should be at least 75 words in length.

Part 1 – Letter in Response to Complaint

Dear OSHA Area Director

Thanks for your concern about the unsolicited complaint by an employee regarding weld operations in areas with poor ventilation. This complaint was seriously taken into consideration and an internal investigation has been conducted to investigate.

We have reviewed the operation and determined that there are no exposure controls. An on-site inspection does not seem necessary. All welding activities are performed within our documented safety program. This includes adequate ventilation control and a complete respiratory protection program.

We also routinely perform air monitoring and personal assessment to assess employee exposures. These assessments have shown that we can effectively limit employee exposures below OSHA allowed limits.

Dust masks aren’t the only protection available to employees. As part of our complete respiratory protection program, we also offer respirators. They are regularly inspected and tested to make sure they work well in protecting employees against harmful fumes from welding.

Safety and health of employees is a top priority for us. OSHA regulations are also important. Your attention is greatly appreciated and we are available to resolve any other concerns.


[Your Name] [Company Name]

Part 2 – Answering the Questions

  1. 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 will prioritize these complaints based upon factors like the severity of the danger, number of workers exposed and potential exposure.

  1. How could this be non-formal instead of formal?

It is probable that the complaint was non-formal as it was brought by an individual worker and not by a collective of workers or representatives of a union. Additionally, it did not claim an immediate danger to employees or cite any OSHA standards violations.

  1. How can you, as an employer, identify the complainant?

We, as the employer would investigate the allegations to find out who they are. You could start by looking through your records in order to find employees that work in the subject area. Then, conduct interviews to get more details.

  1. Which factors might result in the complaint being reclassified to a formal one?

OSHA may reclassify the formal complaint as an urgent complaint in certain circumstances. OSHA might consider that the hazards pose an imminent threat to workers if OSHA has evidence of widespread exposure, or uncover significant violations of OSHA regulations. OSHA may also consider reclassifying the complaint formal if an employer fails to address all the issues raised by the complaint.

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