Employees don’t have to talk with OSHA

Employee rights are numerous.  So numerous that it is amazing that any work gets done.  Informing employees of their rights is of utmost importance to all government agencies.  OSHA is no exception, save one.  The one that if employees are informed will imped OSHA investigations.  And to that we say good!

After almost every serious workplace incident, OSHA will want to investigate the incident and talk with employees.  OSHA believes that employees will always side with the Division even if the employer did nothing wrong; followed safety rules and trained the employees.

What are the employee rights?

Employees have three rights when it comes to talking with OSHA, they are:

Talk with OSHA one-on-one

Talk with OSHA with a representative

Refuse to speak with OSHA

Talk with OSHA one-on-one

This is probably the most clear cut outcome you will encounter as an employer.  Most employees, out of fear, will sit down one-on-one with OSHA and talk about the incident.

Talk with OSHA with a representative

The second outcome is sitting down with a representative.  The question becomes who can be the representative for the employee?  Simple, just about anyone. It can be an attorney, a union rep and even a supervisor.  Even another employee.

Refuse to speak with OSHA

This is the most underutilized option for employees.  Employees have a right to refuse to speak with OSHA and if employees are informed of this right, they will typically opt not to speak with OSHA.  Typically, because they have work to do and don’t want to get involved in messy OSHA investigations when their is nothing truly to investigate.

What should you do

You should inform employees of their rights.  All of the their rights, including the right to refuse to speak with people they don’t want to.

Hope you enjoyed this article.  If you need more personalized assistance, you can work directly with us.  Reach out here. http://wilmes.co/contact-wilmes-risk-control/

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