Have you ever contested an OSHA citation?

​In an informal online poll conducted in July/August 2012, Safety+Health readers were asked if they had ever contested an OSHA citation.

Comments from respondents answering “Yes”:

They thought we fell under PSM and we didn't

Informed ADOSH that our drivers were not first responders in Arizona and did not need to be first aid / CPR trained. ADOSH agreed after contested.

We thought we were following the standard....grey area or differences in interpretation

OSHA inspector cited us for alleged violation and the OSHA inspector was wrong. No violation had occurred.

Inspectors interpretation

We contested a serious violation down to a lower citation as they tried to say we were aware of the condition, We proved that we were not in knowledge prior to the inspection.

Did not believe an MSDS was required for a meterial that was used and only melted into a form, nothing else added required a new MSDS for the formed cartridge.

We knew we were in compliance. At arbitration hearing OSHA withheld evidence (pictures that they took, I took the same pictures from where they stood), We presented ALL the evidence and the citation was dismissed. The 2 OSHA employees weren't reprimanded.

They cited us for machine guards they "didn't like" even though they were approved by the equipment manufacturer. OSHA could not tell us what was acceptable or how we should fix the issue.

claim not reported until a year after occurred.

The company was sited for wet conditions (on a rainy day) in a Toll Booth as an electrical hazard requiring GFIC. When we went to the office for the hearing it was raining, the floor in the office was wet and did not have GFIC. The citation was dropped

Actually, WA DOSH as we are state regulated. Believed compliance officer was compromised by conflict of interest and was inexperienced on the issue he was citing and misinterpreted regulations.

OSHA levied a citation following a fatal accident citing inadequate scaffolding user training, but the employee was a certified craftsman / scaffold erector with training records to back it up. The fine amount was reduced, but not withdrawn.

The citation did not meet the intent of the particular CFR.

The citation referenced wrong standards. When given the correct standards which we followed. OSHA then can up with some different citations un- related to the original complaint. We then just paid rather than fight anymore.

Thought the use of the General Duty clause would indicate the employer did not provide a safe workplace, when it was very apparent that was not the case.

The citations did not interpret the code properly

Do not want a citation on the company record. Often times, the auditor may not have had all of the detailed information surrounding the citation.

I have on more than one occassion because my company felt the given citations lacked merit. We've been successful.

Bad paper

Lower the fine

Because they did not understand that the danger was mitigated in an industry they had at that time little experience in.
Comments from respondents answering “No”:
Never had a citation

No citation


Minor violations. Just wanted to close them out quickly.

Never had a citation

Never had too.

The enforcement was not too harsh!!

Not covered by OSHA

Never been cited


Post a comment to this article

Safety+Health welcomes comments that promote respectful dialogue. Please stay on topic. Comments that contain personal attacks, profanity or abusive language – or those aggressively promoting products or services – will be removed. We reserve the right to determine which comments violate our comment policy. (Anonymous comments are welcome; merely skip the “name” field in the comment box. An email address is required but will not be included with your comment.)