The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSH A) announced August 1, 2011, that it is revising its Whistleblower Protection Program based on audits of the agency conducted by the Government Accountability Office in 2009 and 2010 and an internal December 2010 report titled “OSH A’s Whistleblower Protection Program Review.” Based on an internal review, the 2010 report examined national and regional program structures, operational procedures, investigative processes, budget, equipment, and personnel issues. Whistleblower laws enforced by OSH A prohibit employers from retaliating against employees who raise health and safety issues with the employer or the government.

Revisions include the following: (i) beginning with OSH A’s fiscal 2012 budget, the program will report directly to the assistant secretary rather than being housed in the enforcement office and will add 25 new investigators; (ii) in September 2011, OSH A will hold a national whistleblower training conference for all whistleblower investigators from federal and state programs, and the agency will add several other whistleblower training courses requiring attendance of all whistleblower investigators; (iii) OSH A will issue a new edition of the Whistleblower Investigations Manual that will provide guidance to the enforcement program to ensure consistency and quality investigations; and (vi) OSH A has made modifications to its data collection system and created a stronger audit program to ensure that complaints are properly handled on a timely basis.