OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
OSHA Trade Release
April 8, 2005
Contact: Bill Wright or Frank Meilinger
Phone: (202) 693-1999
Under the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002
WASHINGTON -- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration today published final procedures for handling whistleblower complaints under the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002 (PSIA). The final rule is identical to an interim final rule published a year ago.
Signed on Dec. 17, 2002, the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act applies to pipeline facilities that transport natural gas or hazardous liquids in interstate commerce. Provisions of the Act prohibit pipeline operators from firing or taking adverse action against workers who report concerns about pipeline safety to either the employer or the government. Complainants have 180 days from the alleged discrimination to file with OSHA.
"The Pipeline Safety Improvement Act offers important safeguards to employees to encourage them to report safety concerns without fear of reprisal, and we are committed to following up on complaints of discrimination," said Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Jonathan L. Snare.
OSHA issued interim final rules for PSIA on April 5, 2004, and requested public comment. No substantive comments were received, and the agency is re-publishing the interim final rule as a final rule.
The final rule includes procedures for submitting complaints, conducting investigations and issuing findings and preliminary orders. This rule details litigation procedures and the process for objecting to findings and requesting a hearing. The final rule also contains provisions covering withdrawals of complaints and settlements along with judicial review and judicial enforcement.
Since PSIA took effect in 2002, OSHA has received five whistleblower complaints under the law. OSHA is responsible for investigating complaints of discrimination filed under 14 statutes, including PSIA. Information on OSHA's responsibilities for enforcing whistleblower protection is available on the agency's website at www.osha.gov.
Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure the safety and health of America's workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
This news release text is on the Internet at http://www.osha.gov. Information on this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 693-1999.
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