We think that the methods we use are just as safe as the OSHA standards. Can we avoid being cited for a violation if we can convince the Compliance Officer?
No. OSHA inspectors don't have authority to accept alternative safety methods. Filing an appeal won't help either. The Review Commission is empowered only to determine whether the OSHA standard has been complied with, and if it has not, the citation remains. If you still think your method is equally safe you can apply to the Secretary of Labor for a variance that permits you to use the alternative method, but the chances of getting approval are slight. Only five of 360 such applications filed through February 28, 1973 were approved, though 131 were still pending.