OSHA finds for whistleblowerRecently released statistics from OSHA show whistleblower claims are surging. This underscores the need for employers to be prepared for would-be whistleblowers and have procedures in place to handle complaints internally, lawyers said Tuesday.

The number of whistleblower cases OSHA received pursuant to the 22 laws it enforces increased to 2,787 in fiscal 2012, up from 2,648 in 2011, reflecting steady yearly increases since 2009. In fiscal 2005, the agency received a total of 1,934 whistleblower cases.

The number dipped to 1,842 in FY 2006. Since then, it has surged by almost 1,000, to the FY 2012 total of 2,787.

Of complaint determinations in FY12, 405 were settled, 1665 were dismissed, and 565 were withdrawn.

Since OSHA began enforcing whistleblower laws in FY2005, more than 50 percent of claims determinations,10,211 out of a total of 16,523, were dismissed. Another 2,470 were withdrawn.

Only 15 percent of claim determinations, 2,532 of the total 16,523,were settled.