Archive for: Whistleblower
OSHA announced its intent to establish a Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee that will advise and make recommendations to the assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health on ways to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and transparency of OSHA’s administration of whistleblower protections.
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
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OSHA new directives on workplace violence whistleblower investigations apply to healthcare facilities
Two recently issued documents by OSHA come from the W section of the index of occupational safety and health regulations: workplace violence prevention and whistleblower investigations were the focus of November issue of Medical Environment Update. While both documents are intended for use by OSHA inspectors, awareness on the part of safety officers could lead to better compliance and the avoidance of inspections in the first place.
Here is an excerpt:
OSHA has updated the guidance document that it uses to investigate cases through the Whistleblower Protection Program, which addresses retaliation complaints under the 21 federal whistleblower statutes.
Capped needles, not capped teeth, has a Beverly, MA, dental practice, in whistleblower trouble with OSHA.
OSHA is suing N. Terry Fayad, and his dental practice “for allegedly firing an employee for raising concerns about needlestick hazards and filing a health hazard complaint, according to a September 21 OSHA news release.
A whistleblower complaint filed against an Ohio dental practice demonstrates that employers’ OSHA problems can go beyond workplace safety violations. How would you rate management’s knowledge/awareness of the Whistleblower Protection Act in your healthcare facility? Take our OSHA Healthcare Advisor Weekly Poll and let us know.
An OSHA whistleblower investigation has a dentist squirming in the regulatory exam chair, so to speak. It is also a reminder that workplace safety violations aren’t the only way that dental and medical practices can run afoul of OSHA.
It may not be well known, but OSHA oversees whistleblower protection investigations not only for its own jurisdiction, but for 12 other regulatory areas.
Employees reporting violations of federal law (e.g., an OSHA complaint) are protected from retaliation by employers. An innocent personnel action taken by the employer might be seen as whistleblower retaliation by OSHA.
When healthcare workers witness a potentially serious infection control or safety violation, it’s their duty to point it out the proper authority. But that’s not always as easy as it sounds. Employees might fear for their jobs or their careers if they they see a colleague making an egregious error.
After some of the unsafe injection practices that occurred in Nevada last year the state passed laws providing more protection to “whistle blowers,” but would you feel comfortable pointing out IC or safety problems in your facility?