Informal Conference and Settlement

Before deciding whether to file a Notice of Contest, an employer may request an informal conference with the OSHA area director to discuss the citation and notification of penalty. This is an opportunity for the employer to:

  • Obtain a better explanation of the violations cited;

  • Obtain a more complete understanding of the specific standards which apply;

  • Negotiate and enter into an informal Settlement Agreement;

  • Discuss ways to correct the violations;

  • Discuss problems with the abatement dates;

  • Discuss problems concerning employee safety practices;

  • Resolve disputed citations and penalties; and

  • Obtain answers to any other questions you may have.

It's a good idea to take advantage of the opportunity to have an informal conference with OSHA if you foresee any difficulties in complying with any part of the citation. An informal conference, however, will neither extend the 15 working day Notice of Contest period nor take the place of the filing of a written notice if you desire to contest. Employee representative(s) have the right to participate in any informal conference or negotiations.

Extending the Abatement Date

If you agree that the cited violations do exist, but have a valid reason for wishing to extend the abatement date(s), you may discuss this with the area director in an informal conference. The director may issue an amended citation which changes the abatement date prior to the expiration of the 15 working day period without your filing a Notice of Contest.

Final Settlement

If you do not contest within 15 days, your citation will become a final order. After this occurs, the OSHA area director may continue to provide information and assistance on how to abate the hazards cited in your citation. However, the director may not amend or change any citation or penalty which has become a final order; but only advise you on abatement methods or extend the time needed to abate the violation.

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