The Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC) is the independent judicial arm created under the OSH Act to adjudicate cases involving OSHA citations. This OSHRC consists of a panel of three judges who are appointed by the President for 6-year staggered terms and confirmed by the Senate. The OSHRC has created a court-like structure with progressive stages for the contest process and possesses specific rules related to this hearing process. (See Appendix B for OSHRC Rules and Procedures.)
Under Section 9(a) of the OSH Act, if the Secretary of Labor believes that an employer “has violated a requirement of Section 5 of the Act, of any standard, rule or order promulgated pursuant to Section 6 of this Act, or of any regulations prescribed pursuant to this Act, he shall within reasonable promptness issue a citation to the employer.”1 “Reasonable promptness” has been found and defined to mean within 6 months from the occurrence of a violation.