When healthcare workers blow the whistle, OSHA has been listening.
The notice of OSHA’s filing of a suit against a Brighton, CO, medical clinic  for firing a worker who complained to OSHA about unsafe conditions in the practice is another reminder that:
- OSHA is charged with conducting whistleblower investigations, and not only for safety standards but for 20 other federal statutes
- It is not only big businesses that draws OSHA’s wrath, but small ones, too
The former case involved unsafe mercury spill clean-up procedures and the latter one concerned removing caps from contaminated needles to save space in sharps containers. That investigation also resulted in a separate $26,400 in fines for eight alleged serious violations of the Bloodborne Pathogens and Hazard Communication standards.
And since OSHA issued updated whistleblower investigation guidelines  in September, you should expect to see more investigations.
For more resources on avoiding whistleblower problems see:
- Staying clear of whistleblower protection problems in your practice 
- OSHA Whistleblower Protection Program web page  employees involved in whistleblower complaints.
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