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Federal officials warn Arizona for lowering workplace injury fines


PHOENIX — Federal officials are warning the commission overseeing Arizona’s workplace safety agency that its practice of lowering fines on companies for worker injuries and deaths violates the state’s own laws.

The May 4 letter from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration to the Industrial Commission of Arizona recommends the commission cease those actions “immediately.”

The commission oversees the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health, which regulates workplace safety under a federal plan.

The letter from the OSHA director in Arizona said it found the commission was arbitrarily lowering fines without following its own guidelines. The commission disputes that and says it will respond accordingly.

The federal agency investigated after a complaint from a workplace safety group known as the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health.

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