Employees may not contest citations, amendments to citations, penalties, or lack of penalties. They may, however, contest the time allowed for abatement of a hazardous condition. They also may contest an employer's "Petition for Modification of Abatement" (PMA) which requests an extension of the abatement period. Employees must contest the PMA within 10 working days of its posting or within 10 working days after an authorized employee representative has received a copy.
Within 15 working days of the employer's receipt of a citation, the employee may submit a written objection to OSHA. The OSHA area director forwards the objection to the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, which operates independently of OSHA.
Employees may request an informal conference with OSHA to discuss any issues raised by an inspection, citation, notice of proposed penalty, or employer's notice of intention to contest.
When issued a citation and notice of proposed penalty, an employer may request an informal meeting with OSHA's area director to discuss the case. The area director is authorized to enter into settlement agreements that revise citations and penalties to avoid prolonged legal disputes.