If you wish to contest any portion of your citation, a written Notice of Contest must be submitted within 15 working days after receipt of the citation and notice of penalty. This must be done, even if you have orally stated your disagreement with a citation, penalty, or abatement date during a telephone conversation or an informal conference.
The Notice of Contest must clearly state what is being contested as well as whether all the violations on the citation, or just specific violations, are being contested. The Notice should include:
The abatement date, or
Any combination of these factors.
Your contest must be made in good faith. A contest filed solely to avoid your responsibilities for abatement or payment of penalties will not be considered a good-faith contest.
A proper contest of any item suspends your obligation to abate and pay until the item contested has been judicially resolved. If you contest only the penalty, you must still correct all violations by the dates indicated on the citation. If only some items on the citation are contested, the other items must be corrected by the abatement date and the corresponding penalties paid within 15 days of notification.
After you file a Notice of Contest, your case is officially in litigation. If you wish to settle the case, you may contact the OSHA area director who will give you the name of the OSHA attorney handling the case. All settlements of contested cases are negotiated between you and the attorney according to the rules of procedure of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.