You have many options for reporting safety violations. Let's explore your options and explain the programs. The first program to discuss is the ASAP Program. This is a program that has equal participation from the company, the FAA and the union, not unlike a three legged stool. Each must reach consensus on all aspects of the report. All parties have determined that safety would be enhanced if there was a systematic approach for technicians to promptly identify and correct potential safety hazards.
It is anticipated that different types of reports will be submitted to the Event Review Committee (ERC) and then de-identified, such as safety-related reports that appear to involve a possible noncompliance with 14 CFR (Sufficient Evidence and Sole Source), and reports that involve an event or observation that is a potential safety hazard or a general safety concern but does not appear to involve possible noncompliance with 14 CFR. Event reports that involve noncompliance will be evaluated by the ERC. All other event reports that involve a safety concern will be evaluated, and if deemed appropriate, will be forwarded to the correct departments for further evaluation and corrective action. You can submit these reports online at your carrier, and there is a hotline to call in case the report needs immediate action such as an airworthiness concern. While filling out these reports, make sure you fill out only the facts, and don't automatically fill in all blocks for cause such as fatigue, complacency and communication--make sure they pertain. The content of the report will not be used to initiate or support any company disciplinary action. Make sure you familiarize yourself with the process, as there are time limits that need to be met. You have 24 hours to file the initial event report upon the occurrence of the event or knowledge of said event, and you must complete the report within five days to initiate acceptance. Consult your company's website or contact your Local Safety and Standards Chairman to get instructions.
Once received, ASAP will fill out and send in a NASA ASRS report. You can always file a NASA report yourself if desired. You can download the form from the NASA website at http://asrs.arc.nasa.gov. The Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) collects, analyzes, and responds to voluntarily submitted aviation safety incident reports in order to lessen the likelihood of aviation accidents. These reports will be de-identified, stripped of ID, company, and location. There will be no direct contact unless it is necessary to contact you for more information. If deemed so based on the seriousness of the report, a bulletin will be released. You do not have to be the one involved to submit the report if this is an informational report.
Another option for reporting safety violations is the Whistleblower program. This would be the last option to use if all others are exhausted and you have not received satisfaction. The Whistleblower Protection Program Hotline phone number is: 800 255-1111; select Option 2. If there is an investigation, your identity will be kept confidential from your company. This program reports directly to the FAA. You can also file with the Department of Labor / OSHA if there is a safety or health issue that cannot otherwise be resolved or is an imminent danger to you or your fellow workers. You can do a simple search on the internet to find the information for the appropriate agency and detailed instructions on how to complete reports.
If necessary, consult your appropriate union representative for questions, or for instructions on how to submit a report. They cannot force you to make a report which is ultimately your decision, but they can recommend and inform you of your options. Remember not to blindly trust anyone to look out for your interests, especially those related to maintaining your certificate or livelihood. Provide the minimum information required by the FAR's and think twice about responding via either electronic form or face to face. Remember that if you file an ASAP report, you will be protected if the report is accepted. This means the violation must be inadvertent and not appear to involve intentional disregard for safety, criminal activity, substance abuse, or intentional falsification.
We have many ways of dealing with safety concerns, and protecting ourselves from accidental FAR violations. Evaluate your options, and pick the best one for you.