OSHA Whistleblower Rules Effective Immediately

Interim final rules on whistleblower procedures and an invitation for public comment were issued by OSHA on August 31, 2010. The interim rules are effective immediately and public comment is open until November 1, 2010. According to the OSHA announcement, the rules are designed to protect workers who "voice safety, health, and security concerns."

The rules "establish procedures establish procedures for handling worker retaliation complaints, allow filing by phone as well as in writing and filing in languages other than English."

Covered under the new rules include workers in the railroad, public transit, commercial motor carrier, and consumer product industries.

Assistant Secretary of OSHA, Dr. David Michaels, was quoted in the announcement, saying "Changes in the whistleblower provisions make good on the promise to stand by those workers who have the courage to come forward when they believe their employer is violating the law and cutting corners on a variety of safety, health and security concerns in the affected industries."

You can review the interim Whistleblower rules and other valuable information online at www.whistleblowers.gov. And read our blog post "New OSHA Whistleblower Protection Program Website – 5 Steps Employers Should Take."