In the workplace, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guards the well-being of workers through their meticulous guidelines. To enforce these guidelines, OSHA penalizes employers who fail to meet OSHA standards.

At Schwartzapfel Lawyers, we take workplace safety and workplace safety laws seriously. More than that, we’re here to protect workers. We do this by counseling them on their rights and offering personal, actionable advice. So whether you or a loved one has been injured in a workplace accident or needs better help understanding New York workers’ comp insurance, we’re here for you.

Your safety nets should be as strong as possible, both figuratively and literally – especially when you’re on the job. To see that they are, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us online or by calling Schwartzapfel Lawyers directly at 516-342-2200 today. Or, if you’d prefer to study up on the subject first, please continue reading.

What Are the 3 Types of OSHA Penalties?

OSHA penalties typically come in three (3) forms:

  • “Serious and Other-Than-Serious” fines of $16,131 per violation
  • “Failure to Abate” fines of $16,131 per violation per day
  • “Willful or Repeated Violations” fines of $161,232 per violation

A “Serious and Other-Than-Serious” violation can be understood as a “yellow light” warning of sorts. Serious but not catastrophic, they are set at $16,131 per issue. 

Next, there’s “Failure to Abate.” Using the same analogy, these violations can be viewed as yellow lights, too, but lights that blink to the tune of $16,131 each day the issue remains unresolved.

Finally, “Willful or Repeated” violations serve not as yellow but as glaring red lights with fines of $161,232 attached to indicate major trouble.

As an employer, OSHA compliance isn’t just good practice; it’s a shield against potential financial and legal setbacks. Remember, safety isn’t expensive — it’s priceless. And so, if you or a loved one has experienced a workplace safety violation, please reach out to our skilled legal team online or at 516-342-2200 today.

One phone call may save you miles of headache, heartache, and financial strain down the line, so don’t wait until it’s too late. Instead, act now and have Schwartzapfel Lawyers fight for you!

What Are the Largest OSHA Fines in History?

In the context of repeated or more severe offenses, some OSHA fines are much steeper than others. Below, we’ll go over the five (5) largest OSHA fines in history.

That said, if you or a loved one is experiencing an unsafe work environment or has been injured due to an OSHA violation, you should secure experienced legal help as soon as possible. This is because when it comes to dangerous work environments, seasoned legal advice is essential to helping you recover the financial compensation and benefits you’re entitled to.

At Schwartzapfel Lawyers, we understand the gravity of these issues and are ready and able to support your workplace rights. So, please, if you or a loved one is currently experiencing an unsafe work environment, allow our award-winning team the honor and privilege of fighting — and winning! — for you. Simply dial 516-342-2200 or visit us online to schedule your free consultation today.

5. Samsung Guam, Inc.

On September 21, 1995, Samsung Guam, Inc. incurred a staggering $8,260,000 penalty from OSHA. Because of a series of safety oversights at Guam’s International Airport construction site, (118) instances of willful workplace safety violations were recorded. Sadly, these only came to light after a tragic fatality and multiple worker injuries due to unsafe scaffolding.

4. O&G Industries, Inc.

In the aftermath of a tragic explosion at Kleen Energy Systems Natural Gas Power Plant in Middletown, CT, O&G Industries received a $8,347,000 OSHA penalty. Additionally, Keystone Construction & Maintenance was fined $6,600,000 for the incident — registering as the tenth-highest OSHA fine in U.S. history — and Blue Water Solutions was fined $896,000. After an assessment revealed (371) safety violations related to the incident, the total penalty amounted to $16,600,000.

This tragedy, which claimed six lives and left fifty injured, resulted from a risky and ill-advised procedure — using flammable natural gas to purge debris from a supply pipe. OSHA’s investigation further revealed a blatant disregard for established safety protocols and a sobering reminder that shortcuts in safety can lead to irreparable harm.

In negligent situations like these, experienced legal support is crucial.At Schwartzapfel Lawyers, we don’t just watch from the sidelines. We’re in the trenches, fighting for a workplace where safety isn’t an afterthought but a guarantee.

We’ve seen the best and worst of job sites, and we know that even the most cautious workers can find themselves in harrowing situations. Moreover, our team of seasoned lawyers comes equipped with over (150) years of combined experience tackling workplace safety issues head-on.

Whether we’re handling workers’ compensation claims or standing up to big corporations that aren’t following the rules, we want to get you all the money and benefits you’re entitled to. For a free consultation and peace of mind, call us now at 516-342-2200 or visit us online today.

3. Imperial Sugar Co.

On July 25, 2008, Imperial Sugar Co. and two affiliates were slapped with a $8,777,500 fine after a devastating explosion earlier that year at one of their plants. The explosion occurred due to a failure to properly manage combustible sugar dust hazards in workrooms, electrical motors, and other equipment.

OSHA’s investigation determined that officials were aware of the working conditions at their plant(s) and did not make any attempt to address the hazards. In total, the company received (108) citations related to the dust hazard, (10) citations for other willful violations, (100) citations for serious violations, and (4) citations for other-than-serious violations.

In the end, fourteen workers lost their lives and many more were seriously injured.

2. IMC Fertilizer/Angus Chemical

On October 10, 1991, an explosion at a fertilizer plant in Sterlington, LA, earned an OSHA fine of $11,550,000 for Angus Chemical and its management company, IMC Fertilizer.

The explosion claimed eight lives and injured 120 people. OSHA’s findings pointed to a perilous environment where 223 employees were exposed to fire and explosion risks. In exchange for the $11,550,000 fine, OSHA agreed to not accuse the companies of willful wrongdoing in an attempt to make it easier for survivors to win their civil cases against the plant operators.

In high-stakes scenarios like these, qualified legal assistance is a necessity. At Schwartzapfel Lawyers, we understand the risks workers face and are committed to standing by them in their hour of need.

To speak directly with one of our experienced in-house attorneys at no charge, act now and dial 516-342-2200 today. No matter your situation, we will advise you as best we can, however we can.

1. BP Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

The BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill is not just a chapter in OSHA’s history books; it’s a reminder of the potential consequences of safety oversights. In April 2010, the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig witnessed an explosion that claimed (11) lives and triggered one of the most devastating industrial accidents ever.

The spill that followed unleashed millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf, wreaking havoc on marine life, birds, and even the groundwater.

BP’s account of the disaster reads like a litany of safety lapses: questionable cement work, undetected leaks, valve failures, an overwhelmed separator, a non-functioning gas alarm, and a crucial blowout preventer (BOP) that failed. This calamity wasn’t just a blowout; it was a breakdown of multiple safety systems.

Facing over (250) OSHA violations, BP was hit with a staggering $81,340,000 in penalties. In so doing, it secured the top spot in OSHA fine history.

In the aftermath of historical tragedies, the path to justice can seem overwhelming. To help you make it through, Schwartzapfel Lawyers stands ready and able to guide and support those who have been affected by workplace negligence.

Workplace Safety & Worker Rights

In construction and industrial work, safety guidelines are the lifeline that keeps workers returning home to their families each night. However, accidents happen.

When they do, the fallout can be more than physical, amounting to a whirlwind of stress, paperwork, and endless uncertainties. That’s where Schwartzapfel Lawyers steps in – to guide and protect you and your loved ones.

And so, if you or a loved one has been injured in a work-related accident, please remember that you’re not alone; you don’t have to face the aftermath by yourself. Schwartzapfel Lawyers can help, no matter your situation, when you dial 516-342-2200 or visit us online today.

Your financial future is too important to leave to chance. Act now and take a stand by having Schwartzapfel Lawyers fight for you both in and out of court.

DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this page should be considered legal advice. You should seek the appropriate counsel your situation requires. For more information, call 1-516-342-2200 now!


Schwartzapfel Lawyers, P.C. | Fighting For You

Inspection: 106196801 – Samsung Guam Inc. | OSHA

Top Enforcement Cases Based on Total Issued Penalty | Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Federal OSHA issues third largest fine in history following sugar refinery explosion | Occupational Safety and Health Administration

OSHA Fines Firms $10 Million, a Record, in Fertilizer Plant Blast | Los Angeles Times

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