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State Worker Safety Fines Lower Than Federal Penalties

Aug. 24, 2018, 12:01 PM

Businesses in states that run their own worker safety agencies may face smaller fines than those in states where the federal government enforces safety rules, according to a Bloomberg Environment analysis of recently released federal data.

The average fine from the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration for a serious violation in fiscal 2017 was $2,517. Among the 21 states with state-based worker safety agencies, average fines in all but two—California and Kentucky—were below the federal average, according to the OSHA reports.

OSHA has highlighted the difference between federal and state penalties since at least fiscal year 2009, ...