Cole A. Wist

Shareholder Denver

Cole Wist has more than 25 years of litigation experience in state and federal courts across the country.  His primary practice areas are workplace safety and health and employment litigation.

Mr. Wist represents employers in labor and employment matters, focusing on workplace safety and health and industrial crisis management. He is regularly called upon to defend clients in high-stakes litigation on a wide range of matters following workplace accidents and other emergencies. Over the course of his legal career, Mr. Wist has counseled clients following disasters in a wide variety of industries, including construction sites, surface and underground mines, cement plants, pipelines, electrical generation facilities, smelters, and chemical plants.

Mr. Wist handles regulatory matters for clients before federal and state agencies involved in safety and health enforcement, including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Mine Safety and Health Administration  (MSHA), the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA), and the Chemical Safety Board. ln addition, Mr. Wist frequently advises and trains employers regarding inspection strategies, liability prevention, and crisis management. His litigation experience includes representation of employers on workplace safety-related whistleblower claims.

In addition to his workplace safety and health practice, Cole represents employers on labor and employment matters, including breach of contract, trade secrets, non-compete, discrimination, retaliation, and wrongful discharge.  Cole previously served on national coordinating counsel teams for two large automotive manufacturers and a major pharmaceutical company.

Professional Activities and Speeches

Professional Activities:

  • State Representative, House District 37, Colorado General Assembly
  • American Bar Association
  • Colorado Bar Association
  • Denver Bar Association
  • Colorado Mining  Association
  • Industrial Minerals Association - North America
  • Regis Jesuit High School Mock Trial Team (Coach)
  • Dean's Advisory  Board for Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Denver
  • Governor's Task Force on Civil Justice  Reform (Former Member)
  • Board of Trustees, Colorado Mesa University (Former Trustee)


  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - ''Anatomy of an OSHA Serious Injury/Fatality Investigation: Are You Prepared?'' - San Diego - May 03, 2017
  • Wyoming Mining Association - ''Minimizing MSHA Liability and Enforcement'' - Casper - November 2014
  • 2014 Employment Law Conference - ''Drugs in the Workplace'' - Denver - October 2014
  • Utah SHRM Crossroads Conference - ''Crisis Management: What You Don't Know Can and Will Hurt You'' - Provo - September 2014
  • National Western Mining Conference - ''Regulatory and Policy Evolution: POV, S&S and the New Reality'' - Denver - April 2014
  • Industrial Minerals Association - North America - ''A Review of MSHA Legislation, Regulation and Policy'' - Orlando - March 2012
  • Industrial Minerals Association - North America - ''The Song Remains the Same - An Update on MSHA's Legislative and Regulatory Agenda'' - Jacksonville - March 2011
  • Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (SME) - ''Regulators and Management: Friend, Foe or Something in Between'' - Denver - March 2011
  • Industrial Minerals Association - ''The Bar Moves Again – MSHA’s New Pattern of Violations Criteria'' - webinar - October 2010
  • Industrial Minerals Association - ''Seeing the Forest for the Trees: How Mine Act Liability Impacts Your Business’ Bottom Line'' - webinar - September 2010
  • Industrial Minerals Association - ''Why Don’t You Talk To Me Anymore? Understanding and Navigating MSHA’s Citation Conference Procedures'' - St. Louis - February 2010
  • Industrial Minerals Association - ''MSHA Discrimination Complaints: How to Avoid Them and What to Do When You Get One'' - webinar - December 2009
  • Workplace HR & Safety - ''Headlines Produce Change: OSHA’s Proposed Rule for Cranes and Derricks in Construction'' - webinar - December 2008
  • Rocky Mountain Coal Mining Institute - ''Crisis Management'' - Steamboat Springs - June 2006
  • National Western Mining Conference - ''Community Relations and Crisis Management'' - Denver
  • Colorado Division of Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference - ''OSHA Enforcement Trends'' - Denver - June 2001
  • California Mining Association - ''Handling Special Investigations'' - Palm Springs - May 2000
  • Colorado Safety Association - ''MSHA Inspection Strategies'' - Denver - May 1999


Published Works


Our Insights


Media Quotes

May 09, 2017 - Bloomberg BNA - "Film Industry Hazards Garner Headlines, But Not OSHA Focus"