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Top 10 Highest USA Health & Safety Fines in 2023

Top 10 Highest USA Health & Safety Fines in 2023


Every worker deserves to feel safe and protected on the job. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) plays a vital role in ensuring this by setting and enforcing health and safety standards across various industries in the United States. While prevention is always the ultimate goal, violations of these regulations can come with hefty consequences.

This blog post delves into the top 10 highest health and safety fines levied by OSHA in 2023. By understanding these costly incidents, we can gain valuable insights into the most critical safety concerns and the serious consequences of neglecting worker well-being.

Going beyond just financial repercussions, let's also consider the human cost of workplace accidents.  Near misses, those close calls that thankfully don't result in immediate injury, offer a crucial opportunity to identify potential hazards before they escalate into major incidents.  By taking these near misses seriously and investigating them thoroughly, companies can prevent future accidents and create a safer work environment for everyone.

Now, let's explore the hefty price tags associated with failing to prioritize safety. Here's a look at the Top 10 Highest USA Health & Safety Fines in 2023.

If you're interested in how the health & safety fines in North America compare to the UK health & safety fines for 2023, we've written a blog that covers it.

Top ten health & safety fines in the US

Top 10 Highest USA Health & Safety Fines in 2023

Here are the top ten OSHA fines issued in 2023, listed in descending order from the tenth to the largest fine:

10. City of Albuquerque - $685,729:
Fined for asbestos violations during renovations at the Gateway Center construction project​ (Safety News Alert)​.

9. ALJ Home Improvement Inc. - $685,536:
Penalized for multiple violations, including failing to provide fall protection, resulting in significant safety hazards​ (Safety News Alert)​.

8. Joseph’s Transportation Inc. - $674,551:
Fined for exposing workers to fall and other hazards without proper safety measures​ (OSHA)​.

7. BSH Home Appliances Corp. - $640,405:
Cited for serious machine guarding and lockout/tagout violations, which posed severe risks to workers​ (OSHA)​.

6. Advanced Decorative Systems - $624,713:
Penalized for exposing workers to hazardous chemicals without adequate protective measures​ (OSHA)​.

5. Hearthside Food Solutions LLC - $622,837:
Fined for machine safety violations that resulted in serious worker injuries​ (OSHA)​.

4. DS Containers Inc. - $597,158:
Faced penalties for failing to safeguard workers from amputation hazards and other serious risks​ (OSHA)​.

3. Parter Medical Products - $838,800:
Fined by Cal/OSHA for failing to protect employees from overexposure to ethylene oxide, a toxic chemical​ (Safety News Alert)​.

2. Zwanenberg Food Group USA - $1.9 million:
Issued for machine safety violations after a temporary worker was severely injured by an industrial blender​ (Safety News Alert)​.

1. Miracapo Pizza Company - $2.8 million:
This Illinois-based company received the highest fine for failing to implement proper machine safety procedures, resulting in the death of a worker​ (Safety News Alert)​​ (Safety By Design)​.

These fines reflect OSHA's commitment to enforcing workplace safety and holding companies accountable for protecting their employees.


  • While these represent significant fines reported in 2023 news articles, they might not be the absolute top 5 highest issued that year.
  • OSHA doesn't publish an official list, and some even higher fines might not be widely reported.
  • Some fines may be contested by the companies involved, resulting in a different final fin amount.

writing a safety policy to prevent company getting fined

Analysis of Trends and Patterns

1. Common Violations:

  • Machine Safety Violations: Many of the top fines, including those against Miracapo Pizza Company and Zwanenberg Food Group USA, were related to inadequate machine safety procedures. These violations often resulted in severe injuries or fatalities​ (Safety News Alert)​​ (Safety By Design)​.
  • Chemical Exposure: Companies like Parter Medical Products faced significant fines for failing to protect employees from harmful chemical exposures​ (Safety News Alert)​.
  • Fall Protection: Fines against companies such as ALJ Home Improvement Inc. highlight persistent issues with fall protection in the construction industry​ (Safety News Alert)​​ (OSHA)​.
  • Asbestos Handling: The City of Albuquerque was fined for improper handling of asbestos, showing that hazardous material violations continue to be a major concern​ (Safety News Alert)​.

2. Industry Trends:

  • Manufacturing: A significant number of the highest fines were issued to manufacturing companies, particularly those involved in food production and medical device manufacturing. These industries often involve complex machinery and hazardous materials, which can pose significant risks if not managed properly​ (Safety News Alert)​​ (OSHA)​.
  • Construction: The construction industry is another sector frequently cited for safety violations, particularly related to fall protection and hazardous materials handling​ (Safety News Alert)​​ (OSHA)​.

Impact on Companies

1. Financial Strain:

  • Direct Costs: The fines themselves represent a substantial financial burden, with penalties reaching up to $2.8 million. For some companies, especially smaller ones, such fines can significantly impact their financial stability​ (Safety News Alert)​​ (Safety By Design)​.
  • Indirect Costs: Beyond the fines, companies often face additional costs related to implementing corrective actions, legal fees, and increased insurance premiums​ (Safety By Design)​.

2. Reputational Damage:

  • Public Perception: High-profile OSHA fines can severely damage a company's reputation. News of significant violations and the resulting fines can lead to negative publicity, which may affect customer trust and employee morale​ (Safety By Design)​.
  • Business Relationships: Companies with repeated or severe OSHA violations may find it challenging to maintain business relationships with partners and clients who prioritize safety compliance​ (Safety By Design)​.

In conclusion, the most common violations leading to the highest OSHA fines in 2023 were related to machine safety, chemical exposure, and fall protection, with the manufacturing and construction industries being particularly affected. These fines not only impose direct financial costs but also contribute to reputational damage, which can have long-term impacts on a company's operations and success.

Health & safety call to aciton

Call to Action: Prioritize Workplace Safety and Compliance

Workplace safety is not just a legal obligation but a moral imperative. The significant fines issued by OSHA in 2023 underscore the critical importance of adhering to safety regulations to protect employees from preventable harm. Common violations, such as inadequate machine safety measures, improper chemical handling, and lack of fall protection, highlight areas where many workplaces need improvement.

Ensuring compliance with OSHA regulations helps prevent injuries, fatalities, and the associated financial and reputational costs. Companies can foster a safer working environment by regularly reviewing safety protocols, providing adequate training, and addressing potential hazards proactively.

Encouragement to Learn and Prevent Violations:

  • Educate Yourself and Your Team: Understanding common safety violations and how to prevent them is crucial. Regular training and safety audits can help identify and mitigate risks before they result in harm.
  • Implement Safety Programs: Develop and maintain comprehensive safety programs that include routine inspections, employee training, and emergency preparedness plans.

Resources for Safety Information:

  • OSHA's Official Website: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) offers a wealth of information on workplace safety standards, training resources, and guidelines to ensure compliance.
  • Safety and Health Topics Pages: Access specific information on various workplace hazards and the measures needed to control them on OSHA's Safety and Health Topics Pages.
  • Consultation Services: Small businesses can benefit from OSHA's On-Site Consultation Program, which offers free and confidential advice to help identify and correct workplace hazards.

By prioritizing safety and staying informed about OSHA regulations, businesses can protect their most valuable asset—their employees—while avoiding the severe penalties associated with non-compliance. Let's work together to create safer workplaces for everyone.

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