Many of you have good ideas for OSHA. I know it is true because I got and used many ideas the public sent to OSHA on proposed regulations and on the OSHA Expert Advisor projects over my 27 years of work at the organization.
Many of the OSHA cases that cite “willful” violations present mysteries. The mysteries are why the alleged violations were categorized as willful. These charges are not a mystery to OSHA, but they are mysteries to readers of citations. Since the penalty for a willful violation can be over $130,000, there should not be any mystery about such charges.
Tennessee was the first state to pass the “Healthy Workplace Act” in 2014. The Act addresses “abusive conduct” in state and local government workplaces. By late 2018, parts of the state government and some of the major cities had adopted policies to implement the Act.
What the state and cities did can matter to you, even if your organization is not in Tennessee.
People will not risk their jobs to speak up about problems. They cannot afford it. That is reality. It is the very reason why the Occupational Safety and Health Act has protection for whistleblowers. It is also the reason for the Federal Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA).