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What’s a Fair Fine for a Safety Violation? OSHA, States Disagree

Sept. 1, 2022, 4:38 PM

Ongoing disputes between OSHA and its Arizona and South Carolina counterparts underscores a sore point between many states and the federal agency—what OSHA sees as too-low state fines for businesses’ safety violations.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration expected states in fiscal year 2021 to have an average fine for a serious workplace safety violation of at least $2,325, or 75% of the $3,100 federal average.

OSHA’s recently released reviews of the 21 states with agencies covering private-industry workers found 11 states had average fines below OSHA’s acceptable range for fiscal year 2021. One state, Hawaii, had an average fine ...