OSHA announces interim final rules and invites public comment on whistleblower procedures

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration published in the Aug. 31 Federal Register interim final rules that will help protect workers who voice safety, health, and security concerns.

The regulations, which establish procedures for handling worker retaliation complaints, allow filing by phone as well as in writing and filing in languages other than English. The regulations, which cover workers filing complaints in the railroad, public transit, commercial motor carrier, and consumer product industries, also create greater consistency among various OSHA complaint procedures. The interim final rules establish procedures and time frames for handling complaints under the whistleblower sections of the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 and the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008.   

These regulations are effective immediately. Comments must be submitted by Nov. 1, 2010, and can be sent to www.regulations.gov, the Federal eRulemaking Portal, or by mail or fax.  

See the full OSHA Trade News Release.  New fact sheets on these statutes and additional information will be available at http://www.whistleblowers.gov.