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How to File a Complaint on Workplace Rats and Insects

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Health hazards in a workplace can be related to a number of unsafe situations and conditions. Rats and insects inside your workplace can indicate unsanitary work conditions that place you, coworkers and the public at risk. Rats and insects could potentially carry diseases and germs. Rats could cause electrical fires from chewing on wires. Workplaces that prepare and serve food stand to risk sickness of employees and customers due to infestations. The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) is responsible for handling workplace hazards and enforcing health and safety codes.

Call OSHA at 1-800-321-6742 and ask to be transferred to your nearest OSHA office. Report the rat or insect infestation. Provide the name and location of the business, when the rats or insects were last seen and potential hazards due to the infestation. Skip to Step 2 to report via email or skip to Step 3 to file a full electronic report.

Fill out a Web form to report an OSHA violation via email. You can access the OSHA email form in the Resources section of this article. Be sure to select your state, provide an email address and select "type of employer." Choose "Hazards in the Workplace" as a topic, and under "Your Question" describe the infestation or sightings of rats or insects. Click "Submit."

Fill out a "Notice of Alleged Safety or Health Hazards" form available in the Resources section of this article. Include the business name and address. If the business location is part of a larger chain or company, include the management information if available.

Complete the "Hazard" section, providing detailed descriptions of the rats and insects -- how many, appearance, time of day. Include the locations where the pests were seen.

Specify whether or not you are an employee and fill out your name and contact information. Select the option for "Do not reveal my name to my employer" to report anonymously. Click "Send" when the form is complete.


Print copies of any email or form filled out to have proof of reporting should OSHA investigate.


You can face fines or jail time for making false reports regarding a workplace hazard.


Maxwell Payne has been a freelance writer since 2007. His work has appeared in various print and online publications. He holds a Bachelor of Science in integrated science, business and technology.

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