Help Yourself Guidebook

If you are concerned about hazards in your workplace, the following are some steps you can take to protect your health and safety. Each step has links to fact sheets that will assist you.

If you belong to a union, be sure to speak with your steward about safety and health concerns. Workers and unions should address health and safety improvements as they would an organizing campaign – increasing pressure on the employer as needed to achieve your goals.

Develop an Action Plan

Think carefully with your co-workers/union about what steps would be most effective in your workplace.


Investigate whether the hazards are a violation of any local, state or federal laws, or a violation of your collective bargaining process (if you are unionized).

Gather Info about the Hazards

If you work with chemicals, write down the name of the chemical so you can get specific information about its dangers. Also use our fact sheets and information to help you identify hazards and how to address them.

Document/Track Problems

Work with co-workers to document all of the hazards on the job. Some tools for doing this include:

Get Together With Co-Workers

If you have an unsafe/unhealthy job, your co-workers probably do too. Avoid taking action alone. If you approach your employer with a group of workers and ideas about injury prevention, your boss is more likely to listen.

Know Your Rights

It is important to know your rights so you can tell if your employer is following the law. There are several state and federal laws that offer protections to workers. State and federal health and safety laws protect all workers, regardless of immigration status.

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