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State OSHA Fines Remain Lower Despite Years of Federal Pressure

Aug. 10, 2017, 4:40 PMUpdated: Aug. 16, 2017, 12:27 PM

Several years of pressure from federal OSHA to get states to increase their worker safety fines have met with little success. And the disparity between federal and state penalties isn’t likely to change soon.

Of the 22 states enforcing their own workplace safety rules for private employers, only four have average fines that satisfy the federal goal, according to a Bloomberg BNA analysis of recently released data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

In fiscal 2016, the average federal OSHA fine for a serious violation was $2,279. The unweighted state average for the same year was $1,670, ...