OSHA Head Michaels Oversees Whistleblower Protection Office Following Restructuring

A restructuring of OSHA's Office of the Whistleblower Protection Program (OWPP) tasks OSHA head Dr. David Michaels with overseeing the program, which previously reported to OSHA's Directorate of Enforcement Programs. According to the agency, this move signifies "a significantly elevated priority status for whistleblower enforcement."

Sandra Dillon, who has served as the acting director of OWPP since May 2011, will lead the Office of the Whistleblower Program as its director.

OSHA first announced that it would restructure its whistleblower program on Aug. 1, 2011, as part of the agency's plan for strengthening the enforcement of 21 whistleblower laws under its jurisdiction. Beginning with the FY 2012 budget, OSHA established a separate budgetary line item for the whistleblower program to better track and hold accountable its activities and accomplishments.

"The ability of workers to speak out and exercise their rights without fear of retaliation provides the backbone for some of American workers' most essential legal protections. OSHA's internal improvement initiatives, including this realignment, demonstrate the agency's steadfast commitment to strengthening a program that is critically important to the protection of worker rights," said Michaels.

In addition to the change at OSHA's national office, the agency has launched pilot projects to evaluate structural changes in 10 field regions that could further strengthen the whistleblower program.

To learn more about OSHA's enforcement of whistleblower protections, visit http://www.whistleblowers.gov.

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