Demystifying the Process of Contesting an OSHA Citation

Almost without exception, simply reaching for the checkbook to pay an OSHA citation upon receipt of the citation is never advisable. Indeed, one alternative way to resolve a citation is to immediately request what is referred to as an “informal conference” with the OSHA area director. The informal conference, which must take place no later than 15 business days of the employer’s receipt of the citation, is very popular because it presents an opportunity at an early stage of the process to negotiate a penalty reduction, extension of abatement dates, deletion of violations, and/or reclassification of violations.

But, what if you feel the right path for your company is to resist any notion that you can’t fight city hall and you decide to contest the citation? My recent article appearing in IndustryWeek, Demystifying the Process of Contesting an OSHA Citation, addresses many questions likely to be raised if you decide to press forward and contest. It also indicates that, in approximately 44% of the contested cases in 2014 and 2015, employers experienced at least some degree of success.


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