What are the results of an inspection?

After the compliance officer reports findings, the Area Director determines whether he or she will issue citations and/or propose penalties.


Inform the employer and employees of the regulations and standards alleged to have been violated; and the proposed length of time set to correct alleged hazards.

The employer

  • will receive citations and notices of penalties by certified mail;
  • must post a copy of each citation at or near the place a violation occurred for 3 days or until the violation is abated, whichever is longer; and
  • must comply with these posting requirements even if it contests the citation.


These are types of violations that may be cited and the penalties that may be proposed.

  • De Minimis Violations
    • have no direct or immediate relationship to safety or health and may not result in citations and/or penalties; and
    • usually zero or minor monetary penalty.
  • Other-Than-Serious Violations
    • has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm; and
    • penalty – OSHA may assess a penalty of $0 to $1,000 for each violation.
  • Serious Violations
    • substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result; and
    • penalty – up to $7,000 depending on gravity of the violation.
  • Willful Violations
    • The employer intentionally or knowingly commits; and is aware that a hazardous condition exists and knows that the condition violates a standard or other obligation of the Act, and makes no reasonable effort to eliminate it.
    • penalty – $5,000 to $70,000 for each willful violation.
  • Repeat Violations
    • violation of any standard, regulation, rule or order where, upon reinspection, a substantially similar violation is found and the original citation has become a final order; and
    • penalty – up to $70,000 for each such violation within the previous 5 years.
  • Falsifying records, reports, or applications
    • criminal fine of $10,000 and/or up to 6 months in jail.
    • violating posting requirements
    • civil penalty of $7,000.
  • Assaulting, resisting, opposing, intimidating, or interfering with a compliance officer in the performance of his or her duties is a criminal offense
    • fine of up to $5,000 and imprisonment for up to 3 years.