Tuesday, July 17, 2012

FRA, OSHA act to protect whistleblowers

Written by  Luther S. Miller, Senior Consulting Editor

The Federal Railroad Administration and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced Monday an agreement "to improve coordination between the two agencies in enforcing the whistleblower provision of the Federal Railroad Safety Act (FRSA)."

The FRSA protects employees from retaliation when they report safety violations to the government or report work-related personal injuries or illnesses.

Between 2007 and 2012, OSHA received more than 900 whistleblower complaints under the FRSA. Almost 63% involved an allegation that a worker was retaliated against for reporting an on-the-job injury.

FRA and OSHA sent a joint letter to railroad and transportation associations highlighting an increase in railroad injury/incident reporting in recent years and providing concrete ways that the associations' member organizations can improve the safety of their workplaces and their compliance with federal regulations.