The Occupational Safety Health Administration has recently updated procedures to help whistleblowers who believe that their employers are not following safety laws in relation to nuclear and environmental safety or security, clean air, safe drinking water, solid waste, and toxic substances. Now consistent with OSHA’s other whistleblower procedures, the new rule also helps workers to bring the violations of their employers to the attention of authorities and helps those who might have difficulty filing a written complaint or filing a complaint in English. The new rule will ultimately help to prevent workplace safety hazards by providing workers easier access to filing complaints.
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, Dr. David Michaels said “Silenced workers are not safe workers…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 an environmental or nuclear safety law.”
The rule provides final regulations of the employee protection agreement, known as the “whistleblower agreement”, of the original Energy Reorganization Act of 1974. OSHA maintains whistleblower regulations for nuclear and environmental workers and also protects workers who report violations of airlines, commercial carriers, consumer products, financial reform, health care reform, pipelines, public transit, railroads, maritime and securities laws. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers must provide healthy and safe workplaces for their employees.
For a complete guide to environmental workplace safety standards here in Massachusetts, please visit the Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs website.
If you are a whistleblower and work in an environmentally unsafe workplace or have been injured in the workplace, please do not hesitate to contact one of our experienced lawyers for assistance and a free consultation.
OSHA publishes final rule establishing procedures for handling nuclear and environmental retaliation complaints, OSHA Trade News Release, March 10, 2011
Contact the Massachusetts work injury lawyers at Altman & Altman if you have been injured on the job.