By Emily Bregel | Arizona Daily Star
José Mata suffered burns over 42 percent of his body after a workplace accident. His employer’s penalty was cut from $69,300 to $25,300. Mata returned to work and says the company improved its safety protocol.
An investigation by federal OSHA officials has found the Industrial Commission of Arizona’s practice of arbitrarily reducing employers’ penalties for safety violations is undermining the deterrent power of those penalties and is not permitted under existing policies.
The investigation also determined the governor-appointed commission “has been operating outside of its legal authority” by reclassifying the severity level of safety violations recommended by inspectors at the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health, or ADOSH.