Researchers: OSHRC mandatory settlement process ‘successful’

February 13, 2013

Bloomington, IN – The Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission’s mediation process is “successful,” according to an independent evaluation from Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

Released Feb. 5, the evaluation (.pdf file) examined the commission’s Mandatory Settlement Part program, which requires settlement talks for cases in which employers contest OSHA citations totaling $100,000 or more.

Researchers conducted interviews with administrative law judges and OSHRC personnel, reviewed case records, and surveyed participants in the program and from conventional proceedings. They found that despite an increase in caseload in recent years, the program was successful in allowing OSHRC to achieve its objective of resolving citation contests fairly, promptly and professionally.

However, researchers suggested that the settlement process and the overall OSHRC dispute system could be improved through better administrative law judge training and case management.