FRA, OSHA agree to better protect whistleblowers at railroads

July 25, 2012

Washington – OSHA and the Federal Railroad Administration signed an agreement on July 16 to better coordinate their efforts when enforcing the whistleblower provision of the Federal Railroad Safety Act, which protects rail employees against discrimination when they report safety violations or work-related illnesses or injuries.

Under the agreement, FRA will refer to OSHA any railroad employees who complain about alleged discrimination, according to an FRA press release. OSHA will share copies of complaints it receives, as well as any findings and preliminary orders, with FRA.

The two agencies also said they plan to work together to develop training for FRA on how to handle complaints of retaliation and help OSHA enforcement staff recognize potential violations of railroad safety regulations revealed during investigations of whistleblower complaints, the release stated.