| Connect Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook
About | Subscribe | Advertise


Free Download of our eBook on Overcoating Bridges and Other Structures

Paint and Coatings Industry News

Main News Page

New Rule to Protect Ship Whistleblowers

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

More items for Health & Safety

Comment | More

Shipboard painters, blasters and other workers will soon have new federal protection from retaliation over complaints about their working conditions, under interim final rules issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

The interim rule, issued Feb. 6, establishes procedures for "whistleblower complaints" filed under the Seaman's Protection Act, which protects seamen from retaliation for engaging in protected activity, including providing information to the government about an alleged violation of maritime safety laws or regulations.

Shipbreaking - OSHA
Photos: OSHA

The Seaman's Protection Act applies to "any individual engaged or employed in any capacity on board a vessel owned by a citizen of the United States." The term extends to former employees and job applicants.

The rule defines a "seaman" as "any individual engaged or employed in any capacity on board a vessel owned by a citizen of the United States. The term includes an individual formerly performing the work described above or an applicant for such work."

Seaman's Protection

Congress amended the Seaman’s Protection Act on Oct. 15, 2010, by enacting Section 611 of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010.

The changes included transferring the administration of the act's whistleblower protections from the federal courts  to OSHA. Congress also expanded the activities protected under the act and aligned the procedures and burdens of proof with those provided in Section 31105 of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act.

OSHA already enforces the whistleblower provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and 21 other statutes protecting employees who report violations of various workplace, commercial motor vehicle, airline, nuclear, pipeline, environmental, railroad, public transportation, maritime, consumer product, motor vehicle safety, health care reform, corporate securities, food safety and consumer financial reform regulations.

OSHA Whistleblower Logo

OSHA already enforces whistleblower provisions for workers in the pipeline, nuclear, railroad, public transportation and other industries.

Comments Invited

OSHA is requesting public comment on the interim final rule.

The rule establishes procedures and time frames for handling retaliation complaints, including:

  • Procedures and time frames for filing complaints with OSHA, investigations;
  • Appeals of OSHA determinations to an administrative law judge for a hearing;
  • Review of ALJ decisions by the Administrative Review Board; and
  • Judicial review of the secretary of labor’s final decision.

Individuals may submit comments electronically at, the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Submissions may also be sent via facsimile or mail. See the Federal Register notice for details.

Comments are due April 8, 2013.


Tagged categories: Abrasive blasting; Health and safety; Marine Coatings; OSHA; Painting Contractor; Shipyards; Workers

Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (2/20/2013, 9:31 AM)

Hm, is the seaman definition a big loophole? Commercial vessels are not typically owned by a "citizen" - they are owned by corporations, and not uncommonly offshore shell companies.

Comment from Jerry LeCompte, (2/20/2013, 9:32 AM)

Is this another lawyer's portal to the courts?

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

RPB Respiratory

With RPB Safety’s new Nova 3 Cassette Lens System which has been specifically designed to save you time and money! See the benefits for yourself now!


The Next Generation
of Blasting

• Lightest
• Coolest
• Most Comfortable
• Most Dependable

Nationwide Overspray
Profession Overspray Removal Services

The Finest Name in Safe Overspray Removal. We specialize in removing all contaminants from any surface. Family Owned and Operated for 33 years! Fully insured. Satisfaction is guaranteed.

Graco Inc.
Graco Mortar Pump

The M680 sprays epoxy-based mortars, anti-skid coatings, cementitious and filled materials. Compact.
Easy to use.
Call 877-844-7226 or

US Minerals
US Minerals -
Black Magnum

With nationwide production and distribution capabilities, U.S. Minerals supplies a complete range of coal slag and other abrasives to meet all of your blasting needs.

Waterjet Technology Association (WJTA)
Discover Waterjet from the Experts

Waterjet is an environmentally friendly and growing method of surface prep. Get the latest info and education at WJTA-IMCA
2015 – November 2-4,
New Orleans.

Blastox/The TDJ Group, Inc.
Blastox - One Step
Lead Abatement

Don't waste money on added labor steps with other methods. Don't mix, meter or apply at the job-site. Avoid strict hazardous waste rules.
Let your painters paint

Industrial Vacuum Equipment Corp.
Hurricane Vacuums
& Dust Collectors

Vacuum and dust collector hose, filters and related accessories.

Modern Safety Techniques
Modern Safety Techniques

See our Low Temperature Catalyst for your CO removal needs. Help to provide your workers with safe, comfortable breathing air!

SABRE Autonomous Solutions
Safety, Productivity, Quality. Robotic Blasting

Learn how this simple to use, field deployed, automatic robot is eliminating hazards in major confined, cluttered and complex surface preparation projects.

Technology Publishing

The Technology Publishing Network

The Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings (JPCL) PaintSquare
Durability + Design Paint BidTracker

EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us

© Copyright 2000-2015, Technology Publishing / PaintSquare, All rights reserved
2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951; Tel 1-412-431-8300; Fax 1-412-431-5428; E-mail