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Indiana Department of Labor

DOL > IOSHA > FAQs FAQs

How do I contact IOSHA?

IOSHA can be reached by email, telephone or fax.

What is the difference between a formal and an informal complaint?

A formal complaint is a complaint made by an employee, representative of employees or relative of an employee who has provided their written signature.  Formal complaints are assigned to a Compliance Officer for inspection.  An informal complaint can be made anonymously by anyone and does not require a signature.  Non-formal complaints cause a letter to be sent to the company listing the possible violations and requiring proof of abatement.

What information do I need in order to make a formal complaint?

To make a formal complaint, you should have the following information:

  • Name, Address, and Telephone Number of Employer (Company)
  • Description of the possible violation(s), including the location of the specific hazard.
  • Type of Business (what the business does at that location)
  • Name of Management Official that you have talked to about your concern

How do I file a complaint with IOSHA?

You can file a complaint with IOSHA by submitting the electronic complaint form, or by mail, email, fax or telephone.  For more information on filing a complaint with IOSHA, or to view the electronic complaint form, click here

  • To make a complaint by mail, send complaint to:
  •                  Indiana Department of Labor – IOSHA

                     Attention: Complaint Duty Officer
                     402 West Washington Street, Room W195
                     Indianapolis, Indiana 46204

  • To make a complaint by email, send to OSHAcomplaint@dol.in.gov.
  • To make a complaint by fax, send to “Attention Complaint Duty Officer" at (317) 234-4428.
  • To make a complaint by telephone, call (317) 232-2693. 
  • If I file a complaint, am I entitled to the findings?

    Yes.  If you included your contact information when you filed your complaint, you will receive a letter responding to each of your complaint items and a copy of any safety orders (citations) issued to the company.  If you did not provide contact information, you will not be automatically sent this information; you will have to request it.

    What are my rights if I disagree with the findings of an IOSHA Inspection?

    You have two options if you disagree with the findings of an IOSHA inspection.

     

    1. You may telephone IOSHA at (317) 232-1979 to request an Informal Conference.  An informal conference is an opportunity to discuss the inspection, complaint, settlement or other related issues.  An Informal Conference may be requested by:

    • an employer who has received safety orders
    • affected employees
    • authorized employee representatives (unions representation)

    Informal conferences may be held in person or over the telephone.  They must be requested and conducted within fifteen (15) working days of the employer’s receipt of safety orders/notification of penalties/citations.

     

    2. You may also choose to file a written petition for review/contest of the safety orders/notification of penalties/citations.  This provides an opportunity for an employer to present evidence and argue against the safety orders.  This process also provides affected employees or union representatives the opportunity to present evidence and argue against the abatement dates established by the safety orders.  All arguments are done before an independent body called the Indiana Board of Safety Review.

     

    Petitions of contest must be done in writing, postmarked before midnight of the fifteenth working day after the employer’s receipt of the safety orders.  Petitions should be sent to:

     Indiana Department of Labor – IOSHA
     402 West Washington Street, Room W195
     Indianapolis, Indiana 46204

     

    The petition may also be faxed to (317) 232-3790.

     

    If you are an employer, your petition for review must include the following:

    • The inspection number of the safety orders you are contesting.
    • A specific statement of what you are contesting.
    • A statement of the basis for the contest.

    If you are an affected employee or union representative, your petition for review should contain the following:

    • The inspection number of the safety orders which contain the abatement dates with which you disagree.
    • A specific statement of which items contain abatement dates with which you disagree.

    For more details on this process, please contact IOSHA at (317) 234-4267.

    How do I report a catastrophe* or fatality to IOSHA?

    Fatality or catastrophe incidents must be reported by phone, within eight (8) hours of the death or hospitalization.  Reporting the incident by fax or email is prohibited.  If you are reporting an accident or fatality during normal business hours (8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday – Friday), call IOSHA at (317) 232-2693.  Please identify the call as a fatality or catastrophe report.  An IOSHA representative will request the following information:

    • The establishment name;
    • The location of the incident;
    • The time of the incident;
    • The number of fatalities or hospitalized employees;
    • The names of any injured employees;
    • The name of the employer’s contact person, and his/her telephone number and
    • A brief description of the incident.

    If you are reporting an accident or fatality after normal business hours or on a holiday, please call the federal OSHA Hotline at 800-321-OSHA or (800) 321-6742 and speak with the duty officer.

    *A catastrophe is an incident that results in three or more employees being hospitalized overnight. 

    -- A reporting rule change will take affect at the Federal level on January 1, 2015. Indiana generally adopts Federal changes after 60 days. Indiana reporting rules should change on March 1, 2015. View the reporting rules infographic here.

    You must report to IOSHA/OSHA anytime an employee is hospitalized within 24 hours. This does NOT include employees taken in for testing or observation only. You must also now report any amputation or loss of an eye within 24 hours. ---

    How do I get copies of IOSHA case files or company histories?

    You will need to make a written request by email, regular mail or fax in order to obtain a copy of an IOSHA case file. 

    • You can email your request to apra@dol.inl.gov to “Attention: IOSHA Case History Request.”
    • You can make a request by mail to:
    • Indiana Department of Labor – IOSHA
      Case History Request
      402 West Washington Street, Room W195
      Indianapolis, Indiana 46204
    • You can fax your request to (317) 233-3790.

    How can I get an IOSHA poster?

    You may download and print the IOSHA poster for free online here. (Minimum size 8.5x14)

    • You can email your request to iosha@dol.in.gov to “Attention: IOSHA Posters.”
    • You can call (317) 232-2655 to request free IOSHA posters. 
    • You can fax your request to (317) 233-3790.
    • You can make a request by mail to: 
    • Indiana Department of Labor – IOSHA
      Poster Request
      402 West Washington Street, Room W195
      Indianapolis, Indiana 46204

    For more information about required state and federal employment posters, please contact the Indiana Department of Labor at (317)232-2655.

    How do I get a job with IOSHA?

    All employment applications must be submitted electronically to the Indiana State Personnel Department.  The State Personal Department website contains a search function for all state employment options.

    How do I get copies of the IOSHA/OSHA regulations?

    Many OSHA Fact Sheets, Publications, and Regulations are available for free download online.

    Hard copies of the regulations can be purchased from:

    • The U.S. Government Printing Office:  (202) 512-1800
    • The Commerce Clearing House:  (317) 788-8995
    • The Hoosier Safety Council:  (317) 573-7233 (Part 1910, Occupational Safety and Health Standards only)
    • The Label Master:  (800) 621-5808

    What are my rights as an employer/employee under IOSHA rules?

    Employer rights can be found in OSHA publication 3000, “Employer Rights and Responsibilities Following an OSHA Inspection,” which may be downloaded here.

    Employee rights are found in OSHA publication 3021, “Employee Workplace Rights,” which may be downloaded here.

    Can my employer make me work when it’s too hot/cold in my workplace?

    Generally speaking, yes.  There are no regulations dealing specifically with working in hot or cold environments.  In certain extreme cases, the employer may be subject to citation under the General Duty clause.  For more information, call INSafe at (317)232-2688.  To file a complaint on this issue, please call (317)232-2693.

    Does my employer have to give me a break during my work shift?

    Generally speaking, no.  However, employers are required to provide breaks to employees less than 18 years of age.  For more information about these workers, please visit The Bureau of Child Labor website.  You may also email the Bureau of Child Labor at childlabor@dol.in.gov.

    Does IOSHA have a standard dealing with poor indoor air quality?

    Generally speaking, no.  However, individual contaminants in the air may be regulated by existing IOSHA rules.  For more information, call INSafe at (317)232-2688.  To file a complaint on this issue, please call (317)232-2693.

    Do IOSHA regulations cover smoking in the workplace?

    IOSHA regulations related to smoking have to do with creating fire and/or explosion hazards.  There are no IOSHA regulations related to second-hand smoke.

    Do IOSHA regulations deal with workplace violence?

    IOSHA does not investigate random acts of violence – this is a police matter.  If you are being physically threatened at work, you should call the state or local police.  Under certain circumstance, IOSHA does investigate workplace violence where employer policies may have put certain employees at a higher degree of risk.  Examples might include pizza delivery drivers or cashiers at 24-hour markets, where employer cash handling policies might contribute to an employee’s vulnerability.

    The U.S. Department of Labor has issued “Recommendations for Workplace Violence Prevention Programs in Late-Night Retail Establishments” (OSHA 3153), which may be downloaded here.

    Another document which may be of interest is “Guidelines for Preventing Workplace Violence for Health Care & Social Service Workers” (OSHA 3148).  This document may be downloaded here.

    What is INSafe and why do I only hear about it after an inspection?

    INSafe, formerly known as BuSET, is a division of the Indiana Department of Labor that works with employers, employees, labor unions, professional groups, trade organizations and others to ensure workplace health and safety.  INSafe Consultants are not permitted to assist you during an inspection, but you may request their services after the fifteen day post-inspection contest period passes.  For more information about INSafe, please visit INSafe online or call (317)233-2688.

    Does IOSHA ever reveal who filed a complaint?

    No.  It is illegal for IOSHA to reveal this information.  If you are being negatively affected by your employer because of a complaint, you should contact the Whistleblower Protection Unit at (317)234-3946.

    How long does an inspection take?

    Inspection time varies depending on the kind of inspection (complaint vs. general schedule “wall to wall”), the number of complaint items, the kinds of issues raised by a complaint, the number of inspectors assigned to the inspection and other various factors.

    Can management be present during employee interviews?

    No.  Interviews are confidential between the compliance officer and the employee.  If there is a designated employee representative (usually a union official), that individual may also sit in on an employee interview, but only at the employee’s request.

    Can an inspection be rescheduled for a better time?

    No.  Inspections are unannounced so the compliance officer has an opportunity to see the workplace as it normally operates.

    How much are we going to be fined for these issues?

    Fines vary depending on, among other things, the severity and probability of the issue, the employer’s past history, the employer’s health, safety, and training programs and the number of employees.

    Does OSHA provide warnings before fining employers?

    No.  While warnings may be given at the discretion of a compliance officer, an employer may be subject to fines, as circumstances warrant, as a result of any inspection.  Safety orders, and potential fines, are determined by the Compliance Officer based upon the situation they observed.

    Do the regulations apply to small employers too?

    Yes, IOSHA regulations apply to employers of all sizes.

    The U.S. Department of Labor has published the “OSHA Handbook for Small Businesses” (OSHA 2209).  The intent of this handbook is to assist small business employers in meeting the legal requirements imposed by and under the authority of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, and to achieve compliance voluntarily, prior to an inspection.

    How can I get OSHA injury logs and report forms?

    A package of OSHA forms for recording work-related injuries and illnesses (includes OSHA 300 Log, OSHA 300A Summary, 301 Report, and instructions) can be downloaded in a PDF format or in an Excel spreadsheet format.  The Excel spreadsheet format does not contain instructions.

    Do amputations or power press accidents have to be reported to IOSHA?

    Power press accidents and amputations have to be reported to IOSHA, in writing, within 30 days of the accident.  You will need to include the following information in your report:

    • Name and address of the company.
    • Type of business.
    • Name, job title, and telephone number of the person reporting the incident.
    • Event date and time.
    • Type of equipment involved.
    • Name, age, and occupation of the injured employee.
    • A brief description of the incident.

    The report may be faxed to “Attention IOSHA” to (317) 232-3790, or mailed to: 

    Indiana Department of Labor – IOSHA
    402 West Washington Street, Room W195
    Indianapolis, Indiana 46204

    Can I refuse to do work that I think is unsafe, without being fired?

    If you refuse to work your employment may be terminated.  A better alternative to refusing to work may be suggesting a safer alternative to the work you believe is unsafe.  Employers are not allowed to terminate an employee who is engaged in a “protected activity.”  Raising health and/or safety concerns with your employer is a protected activity.  If you think you may have had your employment terminated for raising these concerns, please call the Indiana Department of Labor’s Whistleblower Protection Unit at (317) 234-3946.

    What can I do if I think I’m being discriminated against at work?

    The Indiana Department of Labor only deals with discrimination against employees who have raised health or safety concerns at work.  If you think you may have been discriminated against for raising these concerns, please call the Whistleblower Protection Unit at (317) 234-3946.

    If you think you have been discriminated against for other reasons, please call the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) at (317) 226-7212.

    What is VPP?

    The Voluntary Protection Program, or VPP, is a way for IOSHA to recognize and partner with businesses and worksites that show excellence in occupational safety and health.  Sites are committed to effective employee protection beyond the requirements of OSHA standards.  VPP participants develop and implement systems to effectively identify, evaluate, prevent and control occupational safety and health hazards.  As a result, the average VPP worksite has a lost workday incidence rate more than 50% below the average of its industry.  In return, OSHA removes participants from programmed inspection lists.  For more information, please visit Voluntary Protection Program.