This is the story of a whistleblower.  First, here’s the definition:

Noun 1. whistleblower – an informant who exposes wrongdoing within an organization in the hope of stopping it; “the law gives little protection to whistleblowers who feel the public has a right to know what is going on”; “the whistleblower was fired for exposing the conditions in mental hospitals”

informant, source – a person who supplies information
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
A worker for an Idaho sawmill company waits to see if he will receive a  settlement from Clearwater Paper Corporation because he raised workplace safety concerns to OSHA.  The Department of Labor is seeking $300,000 for this employee who was first suspended and later fired after OSHA conducted an inspection.  It was alleged that workers were exposed to excessive amounts of red cedar dust in one of their sawmills. That facility was closed in 2011.

The department is also seeking reinstatement of the employee (at one of the other facilities),  as well as payment of more than $300,000 in damages and fees, including back pay, compensatory damages, emotional distress damages and punitive damages.

Section 11(c) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act prohibits employers from discharging or in any manner retaliating or discriminating against any worker for exercising their rights under the Act. These rights include filing an OSHA complaint, participating in an inspection, raising a safety and health issue with the employer or the government, or any other right afforded by the OSHA law. Of the whistleblower complaints that OSHA receives every year, 11c complaints comprise the majority. For more information on 11c and the 21 other whistleblower statutes under OSHA’s jurisdiction, visit

Source: OSHA QuickTakes Newletter

Note: Many workers are very intimidated about reporting safety and health concerns, because of the fear of losing their job, and/or retaliation.  They are protected under the Whistleblower Act.  However, if the hazards of the job are not addressed and someone gets hurt or killed, those workers who were afraid to report safety violations may regret having not told someone.  Do not take that chance: report any suspicions to your supervisor, and if it is not addressed, then call an OSHA office in your area.  pb