If a workplace inspection reveals violations of safety and health regulations or of your general duty to provide a safe and healthful workplace, OSHA will issue you a citation. The citation will charge you with a particular violation, set a time for abatement or correction of the condition, notify you of proposed penalties, and inform you of the procedure for contesting the charges before the Review Commission, should you choose to do so.

Citations are issued only to employers, regardless of whether the violation may have been caused or committed by an employee.

When you as an employer receive a citation, you have the choice of correcting the violations and paying the penalties, negotiating with OSHA to have the citation or penalties amended or withdrawn, or contesting the citation before the Review Commission. Before making the decision, you may request an informal conference with the OSHA Area Director. OSHA policy is to attempt to settle most cases, reserving litigation for the most significant cases. Only in the most egregious cases will OSHA interfere with the operation of your business by shutting it down.

If you cannot correct the condition, you can apply for a variance.