IAM Welcomes OSHA Whistleblower Accord with BNSF

Under an agreement between OSHA and BNSF, IAM members can report occupational injuries and other safety related issues without fear of retaliation.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Company (BNSF) announced an accord in which the freight rail company agreed to voluntarily change existing personnel policies which OSHA alleged violated whistleblower provisions of the Federal Railroad Safety Act (FRSA).

“We are pleased BNSF agreed to change its policies so railroad workers no longer fear retaliation when reporting an on-the-job injury,” said District 19 President Jeff Doerr.

The FRSA protects railroad workers from retaliation for reporting on-the-job injuries and other hazardous and security related issues. BNSF agreed to modify the company’s personnel policies which included issuing employees pre-disciplinary “points” for reporting occupational injuries.

“The IAM applauds the efforts of OSHA and BNSF to work collaboratively to provide a safer workplace free from fear and intimidation,” said General Vice President Sito Pantoja. “The IAM has always fought to have whistleblower protections implemented, enforced and respected.”