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New OSHA Rules Governing Reporting and Anti-Retaliation in Workplace Safety Matters

Earlier this month, OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) issued a ruling which will likely have a significant impact on workers and employers. The final rule mandates that employers submit certain workplace safety information electronically. It also forbids any kind of retaliation against employees who report safety concerns. DOL (Department of Labor) officials say the new ruling will help build an effective public database on work injury and illness.

The creation of a public database is a change in practice. The Occupational Safety and Health Act give the DOL authority to direct employers to maintain safety records and to provide access to those records, but such information has always been privately held. The rules that have been in effect require an employer to keep records of all injuries or illnesses, but employers need only disclose that information in an annual report to OSHA. Effective next January, when the new rule goes into effect, all data will be electronically submitted at the time of the accident or illness, or upon discovery of such. The information will immediately become available on OSHA’s website, where it can be seen by anyone.

The final rule also amends the guidelines for addressing retaliatory conduct by employers. Current law prohibits retaliatory action but also prohibits OSHA from acting unless the employee submits a complaint. Under the new rule, OSHA can take action without a complaint from an employee.

Contact Fritz & Bianculli

At the law office of Fritz & Bianculli, we have over 30 years of collective experience successfully protecting the rights of personal injury victims in the greater Philadelphia area. We have recovered nearly $200 million in settlements and verdicts in cases that other law firms initially turned down.

To set up a free initial consultation, call our office at 215-458-2222 or send us an e-mail. Evening and weekend meetings can be arranged, if necessary. We will come to your home or the hospital for an appointment.