OSHA updates Whistleblower Investigations Manual

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released a new edition of its Whistleblower Investigations Manual, one of a series of measures to improve OSHA's Whistleblower Protection Program announced in August.

The manual contains updates to case handling procedures, information about the new laws enacted since the manual was last updated in 2003 and other information to guide OSHA's Whistleblower Protection Program. The new manual will provide further statutes delegated to help ensure consistency and quality of investigations.

Key changes to the manual include a requirement that investigators make every attempt to interview the complainant in all cases; clarification that whistleblower complaints under any statute may be filed orally or in writing and in any language and that OSHA will be accepting electronically filed complaints on its Whistleblower Protection Program website, www.whistleblowers.gov; additional clarifications of the investigative process, including method and recording of interviews and processing of dually filed 11(c) complaints in state plan states; and expanded guidance for dealing with uncooperative respondents and issuing administrative subpoenas during whistleblower investigations.