William J. Wahoff


Bill Wahoff concentrates on keeping his clients in compliance with health and safety laws, including OSHA on a national basis, Ohio workers’ compensation, Ohio VSSR, and intentional tort litigation defense. He has vigorously represented employers at several thousand Ohio administrative hearings, in numerous court cases, including jury trials, and mandamus actions.

He also has significant experience representing employers in federal and state court employment litigation and in labor negotiations. He has handled ADA, FMLA, and race, gender- based, Title VII discrimination cases, arbitrations, federal and state wage and hour matters, and has bargained with the UAW, Steelworkers, Glass Molders and Potterers, OEA and OAPSE.

He is serving as the Management Co-Editor-in-Chief for the Treatise on Occupational Safety and Health Law, Fifth Edition, for the American Bar Association Section on Labor and Employment Law, Occupational Safety & Health Committee. He also has been an active participant, presenter and moderator for the Midwinter meeting for over 28 years. He was chosen by the Chief Judge to present to the Federal Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission (OSHRC) Judicial Conferences in both 2008 and 2010. An Ohio State Bar Association Board-Certified Workers’ Compensation Specialist, he is also an OSHA Authorized 10 & 30 Hour General Industry Trainer. He is a Fellow of The College of Labor & Employment Lawyers, and is listed in Chambers USA. He is also listed in The Best Lawyers in America® for Labor Law – Management, Employment Law – Management, and Workers Compensation Defense for Employers. He has been listed in Ohio Super Lawyers since the inception of that list. He also has been a Martindale Hubbell Preeminent lawyer since 2002.

Representative Experience

  • Defended employers in various fatality cases involving OSHA in Ohio, Texas, South Dakota, California, Illinois, West Virginia, Rhode Island, and New Mexico
  • Defended employers in numerous OSHA cases initiated by reports of amputations to OSHA
  • Defended food processing manufacturer in an ammonia release OSHA case
  • Defended rubber manufacturer in a TDI exposure case against OSHA
  • Assisted a Connecticut manufacturer in reducing a classification from repeat to serious in OSHA citations
  • Assisted a wood products equipment dealer in contesting OSHA citations regarding specific pieces of wood working equipment, including planers, dimensional equipment, larger stationary routers and shapers, table and radial arm saws regarding cross cuts and rips
  • Assisted numerous nursing homes and long-term care facilities during the COVID-19 Pandemic with OSHA inspections and defending citations
  • Assisted numerous manufacturers in responding to rapid response letters from OSHA area offices in Georgia, Ohio, Rhode Island, California, and West Virginia
  • Defended a manufacturer in the rubber and plastics industry in Missouri on Combustible Dust OSHA citations that were vacated
  • Defended a manufacturer in the rubber mixing industry in Alabama resulting in key OSHA Citations vacated
  • Defended a manufacturer in the rubber mixing industry in Wisconsin resulting in an Administrative Law Judge ruling vacating the explosion hazard citations regarding a majority of the cited dust collectors and setting forth a method to analyze combustible dust cases scientifically – the first reported decision in the rubber mixing industry since the OSHA National Emphasis Program
  • Defended a national construction company in the oil and gas industry in Ohio on citations at a fractionation plant that were vacated
  • Defended a manufacturer in the rubber mixing industry in Ohio in one of the first sets of citations under the combustible dust OSHA National Emphasis Program (NEP)
  • Defended a national restoration/construction company in Ohio resulting in willful citations changed in classification
  • Defended a regional restoration/construction company in Ohio resulting in repeat citations reduced to serious
  • Gave counsel to a chemical company in Georgia resulting in OSHA citations being vacated by the local office
  • Defended a silico-tuberculosis intentional tort case in Ohio resulting in dismissal
  • Defended a joint venture manufacturer from Japan in a wrongful death electrocution intentional tort case involving an in-plant testing machine
  • Defended asbestos cancer death claims under workers’ compensation for a prominent aircraft engine manufacturer
  • Defended silicosis claims for a manufacturer of oil rig engines
  • Defended a large semi-truck (tractor) manufacturer regarding rotating machinery OSHA citations
  • Counseled employers regarding ANSI and NFPA standards’ enforceability by OSHA in the machine guarding (control reliability) and fire and explosion arenas
  • Counseled large construction employers regarding the use of GFCI throughout the site instead of relying on grounding and how to deal with an OSHA inspection focused on that issue
  • Defended numerous workers’ compensation claims involving alleged psychiatric and/or psychological injuries and disabilities, including PTSD, Major Depression, Anxiety and other Mood Disorders, as well as alleged Post-Concussive Syndromes from head trauma with very brief periods of losses of consciousness
  • Defended hundreds of workers’ compensation claims with alleged orthopedic and neurological injuries, as well as various lung, otolaryngological, and urological injuries
  • Defended a lawsuit in the nail gun industry, a lawsuit regarding a railroad car door falling on an employee, and a lawsuit involving an oil company truck striking a minor
  • Defended Ohio VSSR claims in rubber and plastics, steel, and other industries in machine guarding and personal protective equipment Experienced in defending FMLA, wrongful discharge, ADA, and race, religion and gender discrimination claims and lawsuits
  • Defended claims alleging silicosis, asbestosis, berylliosis, coal workers’ pneumoconiosis and related cancers
  • Defended citations involving multi-employer sites, machine guarding, lockout/tagout (LOTO), ergonomics, combustible dust, indoor air (silica, asbestos, lead), electrical, robots, hoists and slings, hazard communication, housing, containing and dispensing hazardous liquids, respirators, material handling, fall protection, trenching, scaffolds, ladders, PPE-construction, FR Clothing, HazCom-construction, lead in construction, GFCI, portable power tools, uncovered rebar, training related to all of the foregoing, recordkeeping, ingress and egress, fire extinguishers and appliances, evacuation plans, numerous General Duty Clause citations, and counseled regarding drug and alcohol, immediate reporting of injuries, and safety incentive policies.
  • Extensive experience in occupational safety and health for unionized employers
  • Experienced in union contract negotiations and labor arbitrations for private sector manufacturing clients

Licensed In

  • Ohio
  • Texas


  • J.D. The Ohio State University Michael E. Moritz College of Law
  • A.B. Miami University, Oxford, Ohio


  • Columbus Rotary Club Member
  • Worthington A.M. Rotary Club, Past Member, and Past Board Member
  • Dublin A.M. Rotary Club, Past President, and Board Member
  • Past District Committee Member, Rotary International
  • Simon Kenton Council, Boy Scouts of America, Past Board Member and Past Volunteer Executive V.P, Operations
  • Boy Scouts, SKC, Buckeye District, Past District Chair, Past Nominating Committee Chair, and Past FOS Chair
  • Merit Badge Counselor, Buckeye District
  • Troop 169, Committee Member
  • Troop 862, BSA, Past Committee Chair
  • Troop 268, BSA, Past Assistant Scoutmaster
  • Knights of Columbus
  • Friends of Josephinum Seminary, Past Board Member
  • NRA Member and Certified Range Instructor Pistol, Rifle, Shotgun
  • Life Member, Republican National Committee
  • Life Member, The Ohio State University Alumni Association
  • Fellow, The College of Labor & Employment Lawyers, 2018
  • American Bar Association, Labor & Employment Law Section, OSHA Committee Member
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys (Defense)
  • Chair – Ohio State Bar Association, Workers’ Compensation Committee
  • OSHA Committee Past Membership Liaison to Section, ABA-Labor & Employment Law Section
  • Chair and Founder, Employment Law Alliance (ELA) Occupational Safety & Health (OSH) Law Group, formed May, 2020
  • OSHA Authorized 10 & 30 Hour General Industry Course Trainer
  • Columbus and Cincinnati Bar Associations, Workers’ Compensation Committees
  • Columbus, Cincinnati, Mahoning County, and Marion County, (Ohio) Bar Associations
  • Ohio State Bar Association Board-Certified Workers’ Compensation Specialist, 1999-2019


  • Peer Review Rated AV-Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell since 2002
  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business – Labor & Employment (2021-Present)
  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Employment Law – Management (2020-Present), Labor Law – Management (2022-Present), Worker’s Compensation Law – Employers (2015-Present)
  • Super Lawyers® in Ohio Workers’ Compensation – Employers 2004-2020
  • “Top Lawyer-Workers’ Compensation,” Columbus CEO Magazine, 2010-2019
  • Management Co-Editor-in-Chief, Treatise, “Occupational Health and Safety Law, 5th Edition,” ABA Labor & Employment Law Section (OSHA Law Committee)
  • Chapter Editor, Treatise, “Occupational Health and Safety Law, 3rd and 4th Editions,” ABA Labor & Employment Law Section (OSHA Law Committee)
  • Service Above Self Award, Rotary District 6690
  • Silver Beaver Award Recipient, Simon Kenton Council, Boy Scouts of America
  • Issue Planning Editor for The Ohio State Law Journal

Speaking Engagements

  • Moderator, April 20, 2023, Employment Law Alliance (ELA), OSHA Developments in Washington D.C., Enforcement and Whistleblower Cases, Webinar
  • Presenter, April 18, 2023, Phylmar Regulatory Roundtable, OSHA’s Use of Industry Standards in Enforcement, Webinar
  • Presenter, March 24, 2023, U.S. Small Business Administration, OSHA’s Use of Industry Standards in Enforcement, Webinar
  • Presenter, March 9, 2023, American Bar Association, Labor & Employment Law Section, Occupational Safety & Health Law Committee Midwinter Meeting, Update to the Committee as co-Editor-in-Chief of the ABA OSH Law Treatise, 5th Edition, San Diego, California
  • Presenter, December 8, 2022, Logistics Company, Major OSHA Developments, Houston, Texas
  • Presenter, December 7, 2022, Highland-Fayette-Clinton Safety Council, What Every Employer Should Know About Workers’ Compensation, VSSR, and OSHA, Hillsboro, Ohio
  • Presenter, November 3, 2022, Employment Law Alliance (ELA), OSHA Affirmative Defenses, Webinar
  • Presenter, October 18, 2022, Manufacturers’ Education Council Safety and Health Summit, Keynote on OSHA Developments, Worthington, Ohio
  • Presenter, September 13, 2022, Employment Law Alliance (ELA), Briefing on Washington D.C. Developments, Webinar
  • Presenter, June 29, 2022, Employment Law Alliance (ELA), The Crisis Response Part 1, Webinar
  • Presenter, March 30, 2022, Manufacturers’ Education Council EHS Summit, Update on OSHA in Washington D.C. Enforcement Matters and Upcoming Rulemaking, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Moderator, March 11, 2022, American Bar Association OSHA Law Committee Mid-Winter Meeting, Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission (OSHRC), Commissioner’s Panel, Sarasota, Florida
  • Presenter, January 28, 2022, U.S. Small Business Administration, What’s Next for Employers in OSHA, Webinar
  • Presenter, October 20, 2021, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) – Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), OSHA’s Mandatory Vaccination ETS, Webinar
  • Presenter, June 24, 2021, OSHA and Employer Vaccination Programs, Columbus, Ohio
  • Presenter, May 26, 2021, Association for Rubber Products Manufacturers, Update on OSHA Enforcement, COVID-19 and Rulemaking, Webinar
  • Presenter, May 5, 2021, Employment Law Alliance (ELA), The Federal OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard and its Requirements for All Employers, Webinar
  • Presenter, April 20, 2021, Manufacturers’ Education Council, Update on OSHA Enforcement and Washington Developments, Webinar
  • Moderator, March 25, 2021, American Bar Association OSH Law Committee Mid-Winter Meeting, Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission(OSHRC) and FMSHRC Commissioners Update, National Annual Conference
  • Presenter, March 23, 2021, Employment Law Alliance (ELA), OSHA’s New Guidance and National Emphasis Program on COVID-19, Webinar
  • Presenter, March 18, 2021, Ohio State Bar Association, OSHA Update in the New Administration, Webcast
  • OSHA Presenter, December 15, 2020, Employment Law Alliance (ELA), Expectations in Labor & Employment Law in the New Administration, National Webinar
  • Presenter, November 6, 2020, The Woodlands (Texas) Chamber of Commerce, Return to Work Issues During the COVID-19 Pandemic, Webinar
  • Presenter, October 16, 2020, Ohio State Bar Association, Midwest Labor & Employment Law Conference, OSHA, Workplace Safety and Health in the Time of COVID-19, Webinar
  • Presenter, October 13, 2020, Wooster Chamber of Commerce, NLRA, Protests and COVID-19, Webinar
  • Presenter, September 16, 2020, Ohio Chamber of Commerce, Back to School: Rights and Responsibilities of Employers and Employees, with Additional COVID-19 Updates, Webinar
  • Presenter, July 29, 2020, Return to Work under COVID-19, National Webinar, Steptoe & Johnson PLLC
  • Moderator, June 17, 2020, Ohio Chamber of Commerce, NLRA, Protests and Return to Work, Webinar
  • Presenter, June 11, 2020, Marcellus Shale Coalition, Return to Work and COVID-19, Webinar
  • Presenter, May 7, 2020, Mapping Out the New Normal, National Webinar, Steptoe & Johnson PLLC
  • Presenter, May 6, 2020, Employment Law Alliance (ELA), COVID-19 Plans Considering OSHA Guidance, National Webinar
  • Moderator, March 5, 2020, American Bar Association OSH Law Committee Mid-Winter meeting, Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission(OSHRC) and FMSHRC Commissioners Update, Rancho Mirage, California
  • Presenter and Panelist, January 17, 2020, Ohio Self-Insurers’ Association, OSHA Update, including LOTO, Machine Guarding, and the General Duty Clause, Columbus, Ohio
  • Presenter, July 17, 2019, Association of Rubber Products Manufacturers National Safety Summit, “The Relationship of OSHA Proposed Penalty Cases and the Lockout/Tagout and Machine Guarding Standards,” Columbus, Ohio
  • Presenter/Panelist, March 7, 2019, American Bar Association, Labor & Employment Law Section, Occupational Safety & Health Law Committee Midwinter Meeting, “OSHA Recordability, Reportability and Impact on Workers’ Compensation: The Interplay between OSHA’s Amended 29 CFR 1904.35 and Workers’ Compensation Laws and Administration,” Breakout Session, San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Presenter, December 5, 2018, Phylmar Regulatory Roundtable Webinar, “Federal OSHA ‘Clarification’ of Drug Testing and Corporate Incentive Programs,” Sacramento, California
  • Moderator, July 25, 2018, Ohio Chamber Webinar, “Update on Labor Issues Under the Trump Administration,” Columbus, Ohio
  • Presenter, June 20, 2018, Ohio Chamber Webinar, “OSHA’s Agenda Under the New Acting Assistant Secretary,” Columbus, Ohio
  • Presenter, April 11, 2018, Energy and Mineral Law Foundation, “OSHA’s Process Safety Management (PSM) Standard,” Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Presenter, March 2, 2018, American Bar Association, Occupational Safety & Health Law Committee Midwinter Meeting, “The General Duty Clause: How Does OSHA Prove Its Case and What Role Do Industry Standards Play?,” General Session, Santa Monica, California
  • Presenter, January 17, 2018, Lorman Webinar, “Medical Records Law (such as HIPAA) in Workers’ Compensation Claims: Know What You Can Release”
  • Presenter, December 5, 2017, Ohio Chamber of Commerce, “10 Management Mistakes to Avoid,” Medina, Ohio
  • Presenter, November 16, 2017, NBI, “Seven Ways the Ohio Workers’ Compensation System Differs from Those of Other States,” Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Presenter, August 1, 2017, NBI, “Ohio Workers’ Compensation Coverage and Differences from Insurance States,” Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Presenter, July 19, 2017, Association of Rubber Products Manufacturers National Safety Summit, “HazCom Enforcement in the First 180 days of the New Administration,” Columbus, Ohio
  • Presenter, July 12, 2017, Ohio Chamber of Commerce Webinar, “OSHA Requirements for Confined Spaces in General Industry and Construction”
  • Presenter, June 30, 2017, Ohio Chamber of Commerce, “10 Management Mistakes to Avoid,” Port Clinton, Ohio
  • Presenter, June 13, 2017, Ohio Hospital Association Annual Conference, “New Landscape of the Department of Labor and OSHA in the Trump Administration,” Columbus, Ohio
  • Presenter, May 31, 2017, Phylmar Business Roundtable National Safety Webinar, “Future of OSHA Interpretations after the D.C. Circuit’s Agricultural Retailers PSM Decision”
  • Presenter, May 17, 2017, Ohio Chamber of Commerce Webinar, “Recordability, Reportability and Compensability”
  • Presenter, March 15, 2017, Ohio Chamber of Commerce, “10 Management Mistakes to Avoid,” St. Clairsville, Ohio
  • Moderator, March 10, 2017, American Bar Association, OSH Committee Midwinter Meeting, “OSHA Interpretations after Agricultural Retailers,” Jupiter, Florida
  • Presenter, February 23, 2017, Webinar, Association of Rubber Products Manufacturers, “OSHA Record Keeping”
  • Presenter, January 17, 2017, Webinar, Ohio Chamber of Commerce, “Medical Releases and Workers’ Compensation”
  • Presenter, October 19, 2016, Robotics Industries Association, “OSHA Standards versus Robotics Standards,” Cincinnati
  • Presenter, September 16, 2016, Ohio State Bar Association, “Hot Wage and Hour Issues,” Cleveland
  • Presenter, September 14, 2016, Webinar, Ohio Chamber of Commerce, “OSHA’s Rules Regarding Employee Incentive Programs”
  • Presenter, July 14, 2016, “FLSA and OSHA Regulatory Changes,” Ohio Chamber of Commerce: Marietta, May 24, 2016, Pataskala, June 21, 2016, Urbana, Champaign County
  • Presenter, June 13, 2016, “OSHA’s Multi-Employer and U.S. Department of Labor Joint Employee Doctrines,” Ohio Hospital Association Annual Conference
  • Presenter, June 8, 2016, “Privacy In The Workplace and Employee Monitoring,” Human Resources from A to Z, NBI Seminar, Columbus
  • Presenter, May 25, 2016, “Train Your Supervisors About Your Ohio Workers’ Compensation Program,” Ohio Chamber of Commerce Webinar
  • Presenter, May 17, 2016, “OSHA’s New Rules Regarding Worker Safety Incentive Programs,” Phylmar Regulatory Roundtable and the BioPharma EHS Forum, Webcast
  • Moderator, March 10, 2016, “New Developments In Process Safety Management,” ABA Labor & Employment Law Section, Occupational Safety & Health Committee Midwinter Meeting, Santa Barbara, CA
  • Presenter, November 18, 2015, “FLSA and OSHA Changes,” Ohio Chamber of Commerce, Webcast
  • Presenter, August 18, 2015, “Creating FLSA Compliance Strategies That Work,” NBI
  • Presenter, December 4, 2014, “Significant Decisions,” Cincinnati Bar Association Advanced Workers’ Compensation Seminar
  • Presenter, October 2014, “Workers’ Compensation Update: Laws & Rules, Class Action Suit, Medical Facilities, and Claims Handling; OSHA Recordkeeping Changes,” HRA of Southwestern Ohio (SHRM Affiliate), Wilmington, Ohio
  • Presenter, February 2014, “The Top 5 Safety & Health Considerations Upon Entering An Investigative Site” (from the OSHA perspective), Insurance Fraud/Fire Investigators’ Joint Seminar
  • Presenter, December 2013, “Significant [Workers’ Compensation] Decisions,” Cincinnati Bar Association, Workers’ Compensation Committee Advanced Seminar
  • Presenter Hot Topics in Employment Law, 2013, “PPACA/Obamacare: What Businesses Need to Know,” Sterling Education Seminars
  • Moderator, 2013, “Significant [OSHA] Decisions,” American Bar Association, Labor & Employment Section, OSHA Committee, Mid-Winter Meeting
  • Presenter, 2010-2012, “The Finer Points of OSHA Recordkeeping,” “Injury & Illness Prevention Programs,” “Combustible Dust,” “Retaliation and Whistleblower Statutes Under OSHA’s Enforcement Jurisdiction,” Association of Rubber & Plastics Manufacturers’ (ARPM) Safety Summit
  • Presenter, 2011, “Intentional Tort, RICO Liability, and Other Third Party Actions,” Ohio Self-Insurers Association, Workers’ Compensation Education Day
  • Presenter, 2010-2011, “Combustible Dust,” Annual Ohio Workplace Safety & OSHA Compliance Conference


  • Author, 2019, “Industry Standards: How Does OSHA Use Them to Prove Its Case Under the General Duty Clause?,” ABA Journal of Labor & Employment Law, Vol. 34, No. 1
  • Author, April 26, 2016, “OSHA Update”, Steptoe & Johnson Blog Article
  • Author, March 3, 2016, IN COMPLIANCE? Be prepared! FLSA rule changes and OSHA penalty increases will happen in 2016

Related Service

Related News & Resources

Bridgeport, WV – For the third year running Steptoe & Johnson ...
Legal Insights
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) increased the...
Bridgeport, WV – Steptoe & Johnson PLLC is excited to share ...

Stay informed. Sign up for our mailing lists.

Stay Informed

All of our news and resources are shared electronically. Select your preferred list(s) below.(Required)