The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are working together to combat retaliation against truck drivers and other employees of commercial motor carriers for reporting violations of commercial vehicle safety, health and security regulations.
According to a FMSCA news release, the agency signed a Memorandum of Understanding with OSHA to "strengthen the coordination and cooperation between the agencies regarding the anti-retaliation provision of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA). The STAA signifies a crucial step to forwarding the safety of truck drivers and everyone on the road by protecting drivers and other employees from retaliation by their employers for reporting unsafe work conditions, security violations or other issues related to commercial motor vehicle safety.
Under the Memorandum, FMSCA and OSHA agree to share information regarding allegations of coercion or retaliation when these fall under the authority of the other agency. Cooperation should equal better protection for truck drivers and others who may have otherwise been pressured into violating federal safety regulations or looking the other way.
Drivers who report accidents, injuries, hazards or other illegal practices by co-workers and employers should not fear retaliation. They should be protected from demotion, suspension or termination. With OSHA and the FMCSA working together and reporting unsafe or illegal work practices that have been noted by drivers and other employees, commercial motor carrier employees should experience better working conditions.
What does this mean for other drivers on the road? If drivers are more willing to report unsafe work practices by their employers, this should translate to improved safety for all motorists, pedestrians and others that share the road with large trucks and buses. After all, hours-of-service violations, failures to inspect vehicles, overloaded trucks and other practices in direct violation of federal trucking regulations can cause or contribute to serious traffic accidents. If these violations are properly reported, the FMCSA and OSHA can step in to penalize motor carriers and demand future compliance.
Protecting Victims of Truck Accidents in Houston, TX
If you would like to talk about a truck accident and your rights as a victim of such a collision, please do not hesitate to call Stern Law Group. We handle personal injury and wrongful death actions related to commercial vehicle collisions in and around Houston. With a truck accident lawyer from our firm to protect your interests and seek justice on your behalf, you have the opportunity to recover maximum compensation for medical bills, lost earnings, property damage and possibly more. Call today.