Appeals by Employers:

  • Must submit a written objection (“Notice of Contest”) to OSHA within 15 working days of receiving a citation.
  • The OSHA Area Director forwards the objection to the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (“OSHRC”), which operates independently of OSHA.
  • An employer may request an informal meeting with OSHA’s Area Director to discuss the case.
  • The Area Director is authorized to enter into settlement agreements that revise citations and penalties to avoid prolonged legal disputes and result in speedier hazard abatement.
  • An informal conference will neither extend the 15 working day contest period nor take the place of the filing of a written notice if you desire to contest.

Notice of Contest

  • To contest either the citation, the abatement period, or the penalty, the employer has 15 working days from the time the citation and penalty are received to notify the OSHA Area Director in writing.
  • Failure to do so results in the citation and penalty becoming a final order of the OSHRC without further appeal.
  • An orally expressed disagreement will not be accepted.
  • After file Notice of Contest, the Area Director forwards the notice to Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (“OSHRC”) for docketing and assignment to an ALJ.
  • The case is officially in litigation.
  • Case assigned to OSHA staff attorney.
  • Notify employees and any union representing affected employees of case docketing by posting actual Notice of Contest in workplace.
  • Notice informs employees and unions of their right to participate in proceeding.

Surviving the OSHA Investigation

  • Prepare for an inspection
  • Create a plan for handling an OSHA inspection including.
    • naming contact people in advance;
    • drafting internal policies for dealing with OSHA during an inspection;
    • having critical phone numbers and contacts readily available; and
    • conducting internal self-evaluations.

Learn the law and understand OSHA’s procedures.

  • To learn more about OSHA’s practices and procedures, visit their website at

Or contact

Wayne E. Pinkstone, Esq., 609-895-7063,