How to Contest an OSHA Citation

Reduce Fines from Violations and Correct Safety Problems

OSHA Safety RecordsA federal OSHA inspector has just left your business with a list of citations. Each citation may mean a penalty for health and safety violations. There are plenty of reasons to contest an OSHA violation. T/C Risk Management will guide you through the contest process and help you establish safety standards to avoid future violations. With our help, businesses have reduced OSHA citations from $22,000.00 to $1,200.00.

The process begins by submitting a Notice of Intent to Contest. This must be turned in to a local OSHA office in writing. NOTE: You only have 15 days to begin the contest process. Get our expert help so you can make the deadline.

If there are multiple citations, you may have standing to contest some and not others. You cannot contest a violation in an attempt to avoid penalties. Our team will determine which violations you can and cannot contest.

Different Types of OSHA Violations

  • Serious – The violation could cause death or permanent disability
  • Other-Than-Serious – A safety violation which would not cause death or permanent disability
  • De Minimis – A non-standard safety practice
  • Failure to Abate – A prior violation is not corrected since previous inspection
  • Repeated – Any violation which your business has been cited for within the last five years
  • Willful – Safety procedure is purposefully ignored

The exact type of OSHA violation will have bearing in the severity of the penalty. For example, a de minimis violation may be easily contested if the safety practice at your workplace is shown to be just as effective as the standard safety procedures. Serious violations will carry larger penalties than violations for hygiene or unsafe noise levels. If your business does not have a set policy, it is time to develop a custom safety policy with T/C Risk.

Handling OSHRC Hearings

Next, your contest is turned over to the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC), an independent agency. Their  process includes hearings similar to a trial. There is even an appeals process if necessary.

They will call in workers to provide testimony and act as witnesses. A judge will use this information to rule on the violations. The contest process will vary based on the citation you are challenging.

Dealing with Follow-Up OSHA Inspections

OSHA Safety Training ClassRegardless of the outcome of your citation contest, you will receive a follow-up inspection from OSHA to ensure you are following safety standards. You will need to implement any new safety standards by this time to avoid more severe repeated or willful violations.

T/C Risk Management does more than help businesses contest current OSHA violations. Let us be there for you to make sure all safety issues are resolved and OSHA requirements are met. Through our safety training classes and seminars, we lay the groundwork to avoid future citations. Our classes include:

Violations can lead to higher insurance costs. We assist companies in finding the right insurance risk plan, even reducing insurance costs as much as 40%. Stay safe and save money with T/C Risk Management!

OSHA Citations and Fines

The penalty fines OSHA delivers are determined by the severity of the violation. The maximum financial penalty per violation is nearly $13,000. Repeated or willful violations increase the penalty tenfold, with violators being charged over $129,000. Multiple violations will increase the total. Some companies have faced multi-million dollar fines over the years from OSHA.

The highest penalties include:

BP Products North America $81,340,000
IMC Fertilizer/Angus Chemical $11,555,000
Imperial Suger $8,777,500
O&G Industries, Inc. $8,347,000
Samsung Guam, Inc. $8,260,000

Failure to contest an OSHA citation can open up your business to civil lawsuits and workers’ compensation claims from employees. Combined with fines all these payments can lead businesses to bankruptcy. Protect your business and learn how to contest an OSHA violation with T/C Risk Management experts.

Contact T/C Risk Management to contest an OSHA violation at your business.