The U.S. Department of Labor’s Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) wants to do more to protect whistleblowers, so the agency is revamping its Whistleblower Protection Program (the Program). The overhaul includes changes in OSHA’s reporting chain and improved training for investigators and supervisors.
OSHA enforces the 21 statutes that protect employees who report safety violations in various industries, including, airline, busing companies, consumer products, construction safety, food safety, healthcare and railroads, to name a few.
From now one, the Program will report directly to OSHA’s assistant secretary and OSHA plans more changes in the field structure in the near future. OSHA will host a whistleblower-training program this September for state and federal investigators. In addition, OSHA will offer other training events to ensure that investigators are current on regulations.
OSHA will also update the 2003 Whistleblower Investigations Manual to reflect the updates on procedures and new laws enacted since the manual’s last update. OSHA hopes the new manual will make enforcement more consistent and improve the quality of investigations.
Lastly, OSHA’s internal data collection system used to track complaints will undergo a modification to ensure the agency can handle complaints on a timely basis.
Approved by attorney David Schloss