When the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster began, hundreds of Panhandle workers signed up to receive training on how to safely clean up the mess. Now that they have completed the program—called Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response training—some are complaining that they can’t start working because their employers are withholding the certificates.
OSHA is looking into the complaints and already has referred some of them to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Inspector General. That office has the option of pressing consumer fraud charges against uncooperative employers.
The workers allege employers are withholding the certificates out of fear certified employees may seek work elsewhere. OSHA maintains employers should issue the certificates immediately after workers complete the training.