In the wake of OSHA’s new electronic injury and illness reporting and anti-retaliation rules, the Department of Labor (DOL) recently released new recommended practices for anti-retaliation programs. The initial rule requires employers to electronically submit information from work related injury to OSHA. More importantly, the rule solidifies employee anti-retaliation protections for reporting work-related injuries and illness.
OSHA’s new anti-retaliation provisions simply further clarify already existing laws:
- Require employers to inform employees of the right to report work-related injuries and illnesses free from retaliation
- Direct employers to adopt reasonable procedures to report injuries and illness
- Prohibit employers from retaliating against employees for reporting work injuries or illnesses.
OSHA currently maintains 22 whistle-blower protection laws that are designed to protect employees from retaliation. According to the DOL, their recommendations should help employers to comply with these laws and create workplaces in which employees feel comfortable voicing concerns and reporting injuries and illnesses. The DOL also outlined the five most important traits of any anti-retaliation program:
- Anti-retaliation training for employees and managers
- Management leadership, commitment and accountability
- A system for listening to and resolving employees’ safety and compliance concerns
- A system for receiving and responding to reports of retaliation
- Program oversight
These recommended practices are only advisory in nature, and don’t create or alter any obligations created by OSHA standards and regulations. Vanner Insurance can help create anti-retaliation training or compliance updates for your business. For more information on OSHA’s new rules and anti-retaliation programs, contact us at 716-688-8888 today.