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OSHRC to survey OSHA, attorneys again on settlement procedures

July 5, 2012

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Washington – The Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission is proposing to survey OSHA employees and attorneys who represent employers to find out what they think about settlement procedures that occur without the oversight of an OSHRC administrative law judge.

According to OSHRC, survey participants would include those involved in cases (both informally settled and that went to trial) in which a total proposed penalty for alleged OSHA violations between $50,000 and $99,999 was disputed between Feb. 15, 2011, and June 30, 2012.

These participants would be a control group for OSHRC to compare to another group previously surveyed. That group included parties in which penalties of $100,000 or more were levied and the cases were either formally settled or went to trial. All employers facing proposed fines of that amount are required to go through formal settlement talks overseen by a judge to help reduce litigation costs. The surveys are intended to evaluate that process.

To comment on the proposed survey, follow the instructions in the July 2 Federal Register notice (.pdf file). Comments are due Aug. 1.

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