Immediately following the inspection of your company, the inspector must discuss the nature of the violation, any penalties that might be issued, and what you can do to correct the violation. If, after speaking with the inspector, you are not satisfied that the cited violation is appropriate or deserved, you may choose to contest it.
If you are cited for a violation, you can contest one or more of the following:
- the citation itself;
- the proposed penalty;
- the time period in which you are allowed to correct the violation
You must first make an appeal to the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. You can challenge the citation, the proposed fine(s) and penalties, or both.
If your appeal is unsuccessful, and you want to challenge an OSHA citation in court, an attorney with employment litigation experience can help you challenge the citation. The following are some of the defenses commonly raised to OSHA sanctions:
- unexpected or unpreventable employee misconduct;
- the hazards addressed by the citation are inherent to the job (employees assume a certain risk by working there);
- the inspection procedures did not comply with OSHA standards and regulations;
- the cited standard is too vague, and makes it very hard to know if you are violating it;
- OSHA inspector failed to let you take part in the inspection of the premises;
- the citation was not issued in a timely manner
OSHA citations often involve severe penalties, and can be difficult to challenge. An employment attorney can help you meet OSHA requirements, defend any claims brought against you, and help you fight any cited violations that are unjust.