What steps should I take if I'm injured by a workplace hazard?
If you have been injured at work by a hazard that could harm someone else, take the following steps as quickly as possible after obtaining medical treatment.
If the hazard poses an imminent threat of death or serious injury, call OSHA's emergency telephone line at 800-321-OSHA (6742).
Immediately file a claim for workers' compensation benefits so that your medical bills will be paid and you will be compensated for your lost wages and injury. In some states, the amount you receive from a workers' comp claim will be larger if a violation of a state workplace safety law contributed to your injury. For more information, see Nolo's articles on workers' compensation benefits.
Tell your employer that a continuing hazard or dangerous condition exists. As with most workplace safety complaints, the odds of getting your employer to resolve the problem will be greater if other employees join in your complaint. For information on your rights when raising health and safety concerns with your employer, see Nolo's article Assert Your Safety Rights Without Fear of Retaliation.
If your employer does not eliminate the hazard promptly, file a complaint with OSHA and any state or local agency that you think may be able to help. For example, if your complaint is about hazardous waste disposal, you may be able to track down a local group that has been successful in investigating similar complaints in the past.