OSHA’s Whistleblower Program And How It Affects Employers Part 2
In the second half of this article, we will go over what changes employers should to make to prevent employees from making a complaint to OSHA. As Sarasota construction lawyers, we want all employers to have access to the right tools to avoid any employee whistleblower complaints that may come their way. To view the first half of this article, please visit Part 1.
How to Reduce the Likelihood of Complaints
Employers never know when there will be an OSHA inspection, but they can expect one if a complaint is made against them. To decrease the chances of OSHA paying a visit, employers should take the following steps:
Employers should review and update all health and safety programs. Reviews are important. They will weed out any outdated industry practices that can leave employers susceptible to whistleblower complaints. It’s recommended that employers seek the counsel of a Sarasota construction attorney to decide if their safety procedures should be reviewed or not. It’s vital that employers consider how they can promote a work culture where employees feel comfortable voicing any concerns. Instead of taking disciplinary actions against employees that voice concerns, we suggest implementing an incentive program that motivates employees to report problems to the employer.
Employers must educate all employees about the correct steps to take to voice their concerns. We recommend an anonymous hotline, suggestion box, or an anonymous email account that is managed by a non-affiliated third party. All supervisors should also receive training on how to properly control employee safety complaints, as well as know when and how to send employee complaints up to to the top of the chain when need be.
Putting everything in writing will help employers decrease the chance for liability when employees file a whistleblower complaint. For example, if a complaining employee has ever been disciplined for a safety violation it should have been recorded and documented stating why the discipline happened to avoid any potential retaliation claims.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.