Employee statements can make or break your defenses against OSHA Citations. However, as an employer, the contractor is not entitled to review the employee statements under certain federal laws commonly known as the Whistleblower Act. Therefore, it is impossible to know exactly what facts the employee written statements contain.
Notwithstanding this, it is always advisable to ask your crews exactly what topics the OSHA inspector discussed. It is also vital to find out if the interviews were conducted in the employees’ native language and whether or not the statements they signed were written in a language they could comprehend. As a business owner and employer, you may question your employees regarding the interviews, but remember that the Whistleblower Act allows any crew member the right to refuse to disclose this information. The discussion between an employee and an OSHA inspector can be kept completely confidential if the employee wishes, and an employer may not, under any circumstance, retaliate against an employee for his or her cooperation with OSHA inspectors. An employer who fails to honor the requirements within the Whistleblower Act or terminates an employee for speaking with an OSHA inspector will face serious consequences.