[United States Government Manual]
[June 01, 2005]
[Pages 488-491]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office, www.gpo.gov]


1120 Twentieth Street NW., Washington, DC 20036-3419

Phone, 202-606-5398. Internet, www.oshrc.gov.
Chairman                                          W. Scott Railton
Commissioners                                     James M. Stephens, 
                                                          Thomasina V. 
    Executive Director                            Patricia A. Randle
    Chief Administrative Law Judge                Irving Sommer
    General Counsel                               (vacancy)
    Executive Secretary                           Ray H. Darling, Jr.
    Public Information Officer                    Linda A. Gravely

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The Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission works to ensure the 
timely and fair resolution of cases involving the alleged exposure of 
American workers to unsafe or unhealthy working conditions.

The Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission is an independent, 
quasi-judicial agency established by the Occupational Safety and Health 
Act of 1970 (29 U.S.C. 651-678).
    The Commission is charged with ruling on cases forwarded to it by 
the Department of Labor when disagreements arise over the results of 
safety and health inspections performed by the Department's Occupational 
Safety and Health Administration. Employers have the right to dispute 
any alleged job safety or health violation found during the inspection 
by the Administration, the penalties it proposed, and the time given by 
the agency to correct any hazardous situation. Employees and 
representatives of employees may initiate a case by challenging the 
propriety of the time the Administration has allowed for correction of 
any violative condition.
    The Occupational Safety and Health Act covers virtually every 
employer in the country. Enforced by the Secretary of Labor, the act is 
an effort to reduce the incidence of personal injuries, illness, and 
deaths among working men and women in the United States that result from 
their employment. It requires employers to furnish to each of their 
employees a working environment free from recognized hazards that are 
causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm to the 
employees and to comply with occupational safety and health standards 
promulgated under the act.


The Commission was created to adjudicate enforcement actions initiated 
under the act when they are contested by employers, employees, or 
representatives of employees. A case arises when a citation is issued 
against an employer as the result of an Occupational Safety and Health 
Administration inspection and it is contested within 15 working days.
    The Commission is more of a court system than a simple tribunal, for 
within the Commission there are two levels of adjudication. All cases 
are assigned to an administrative law judge, who decides the case. 
Ordinarily the hearing is held in the community where the alleged 
violation occurred or as close as possible. At the hearing, the 
Secretary of Labor will generally have the burden of proving the case. 
After the hearing, the judge must issue a decision, based on findings of 
fact and conclusions of law.
    A substantial number of the decisions of the judges become final 
orders of the Commission. However, each decision is subject to 
discretionary review by the three members of the Commission upon the 
direction of any one of the three, if done within 30 days of the filing 
of the decision. When that occurs, the Commission issues its own 
    Once a case is decided, any party to the case adversely affected or 
aggrieved thereby may seek a review of the decision in the United States 
Courts of Appeals.
    The Commission's principal office is in Washington, DC. There are 
also two regional offices where Commission judges are stationed.

     Review Commission Judges--Occupational Safety and Health Review
                      City/Address                           Telephone
Atlanta, GA (Rm. 2R90, Bldg. 1924, 100 Alabama St. SW.,     404-562-1640
Denver, CO (Rm. 250, 1244 N. Speer Blvd., 80204)........    303-844-3409

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Sources of Information

Publications  Copies of the Commission's Rules of Procedure, Guide to 
Review Commission Procedures, Guide to E-Z Trial Procedures, and 
Employee Guide to Review Commission Procedures: Supplement to the Guide 
to Review Commission Procedures, decisions, and pamphlets explaining the 
functions of the Commission are available from the Public Information 
Office at the Commission's Washington, DC, office and on the Internet at 

For further information, contact the Public Information Officer, 
Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, 1120 Twentieth Street 
NW., Washington, DC 20036-3419. Phone, 202-606-5398. Fax, 202-606-5050. 
Internet, www.oshrc.gov.