Issues / Legislation » Workers' Rights

What To Do If You Have a Health and Safety Problem

The AFSCME health and safety program exists to help members work in safe conditions. If you have a health and safety problem, there are certain steps that you should take:

  1. Tell Management

    It is management’s responsibility to keep your job safe. This responsibility is written into the federal and state OSHA laws, and into most of our contracts.
  2. Make sure your co-workers and your union health and safety committee know about the hazards

    It is important for the committee to know about problems so that they can keep track and confront management with as much information and power as they can. (If you local does not have a health and safety committee, see the section on forming a committee. Request fact sheets from the International or local resources, and make sure that everyone is educated.)
  3. Make sure your Joint Labor-Management Health and Safety Committee knows about the problem

    If the Joint Committee functions effectively, it should address problems brought to its agenda, as well as conduct regular health and safety inspections to make sure that working conditions are safe.
  4. Contact your AFSCME Staff Representative

    While AFSCME International Health and Safety staff is happy to answer simple questions by e-mail, over the phone 202-429-1215, or with a fact sheet or publication, if you need any information more complicated than a fact sheet, you should always first contact your AFSCME staff representative.

This is not a bureaucratic roadblock. Your staff reps are much closer to your local situation than we are. They may be able to solve problems much more quickly. They may be already working on similar problems for other members in your local or in nearby locals. If necessary, they will contact us. (Of course, if you have real emergency, where someone is facing an immediate health and safety risk, you can always call us at 202-429-1215 or your state OSHA.

Get news & updates from AFSCME