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Keys to Avoiding OSHA Citations and Liabilities


Find out everything you need to know about OSHA inspections to protect your company.

Searching for "how to comply with OSHA" after the compliance officer arrives at your facility is not a winning strategy. Surviving an OSHA inspection requires planning and preparation long before OSHA knocks at your door. This topic will help you with answers to many of the questions you will likely be scrambling to find answers for when it is already too late to do anything, including: What sort of requirements apply to your workplace, and how does OSHA enforce them? Does OSHA have jurisdiction over your operation, or will you be dealing with a state agency? What are the most commonly cited violations? How do you go about identifying the hazards in your workplace, and what options do you have to correct them? Can you deny entry to the OSHA inspector if they show up unannounced? What happens if you do? What should you say, and not say, during the inspection? Do you need a lawyer present? Will OSHA hold it against you if you have counsel present? What if the OSHA inspector asks for a demonstration or to take video? What if OSHA takes samples? What are your options if OSHA issues citations to you? Should you request an informal settlement conference? What can and should you ask for during the informal conference? What are the most common mistakes that employers make when settling citations? Is there any benefit to filing a notice of contest?



Aaron R. Gelb

Aaron R. Gelb

Conn Maciel Carey LLP

  • Partner in Conn Maciel Carey LLP’s Chicago office
  • Member of the firm’s OSHA Workplace Safety Practice Group and the Labor and Employment Group
  • Devotes a significant part of his practice to workplace safety and health matters, preparing for and attending worksite inspections, assessing, and negotiating the settlement of federal OSHA and state plan agency citations, in addition to litigating contested citations before the federal Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, or the applicable forum in state plan states
  • Counsels employers regarding a variety of labor and employment issues, including but not limited to equal employment opportunity, discipline and discharge, handbook and/or policy development/revision, disability accommodations and FMLA compliance
  • Selected by his peers as a Leading Lawyer in Employment Law Management in 2017 and 2018
  • J.D. degree, University of Texas School of Law; B.A. degree, University of Chicago
  • Can be contacted at 312-868-0294 or [email protected]
Ashley D. Mitchell

Ashley D. Mitchell

Conn Maciel Carey LLP

  • Associate at Conn Maciel Carey LLP in both the OSHA Workplace Safety Practice Group and the Labor and Employment Group
  • Provides advice and guidance on responding to workplace safety complaints and litigating contests of OSHA citations
  • Represents and advises clients in a broad range of employment issues involving the employer-employee relationship, including wage and hour disputes, Title VII discrimination claims, and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Counsels employers on workplace policies and procedures, harassment training, and employee handbooks

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