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Update to OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program | OSHA Law Update

OSHA Law Update


Update to OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program

By Eric J. Conn, Head of the OSHA Practice Group

Back in September, we posted an article critiquing OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program (“SVEP”) in general, and the newly announced “exit criteria” in particular.  Since that time, in the beginning of October, OSHA updated its embarrassing SVEP Log that it maintains for public consumption on the OSHA website.  With the new data included on the SVEP Log, we thought this would be a good time to provide an update about the SVEP, including:
  • The types of employers and industries that OSHA is most frequently qualifying for the program;
  • The OSHA Regions that are most active in the SVEP;
  • The pace at which new employers are added to the program; and
  • Other useful information.
As a reminder, on June 18, 2010 OSHA implemented the SVEP to focus OSHA’s enforcement resources on those employers whom OSHA believes demonstrate indifference to their OSH Act obligations by committing certain types of violations, including:
  • Any violation categorized by OSHA as “Egregious”;
  • 1+ Willful, Repeat or Failure-to-Abate violations associated with a fatality or the overnight hospitalization of three or more employees;
  • 2+ Willful, Repeat or Failure-to-Abate violations in connection with a high emphasis hazard (generally speaking, the subjects of OSHA’s special emphasis programs, such as falls, amputations, grain handling, etc.); or
  • 3+ Willful, Repeat or Failure-to-Abate violations related to OSHA’s Process Safety Management Standard.
Also as a reminder, OSHA qualifies employers for the SVEP not upon a Final Order of the OSH Review Commission confirming that the employer actually violated the law as alleged by OSHA, but instead, employers find themselves on the public Severe Violator list just upon OSHA’s initial, unproven allegations.
Below are some interesting bits of data about the SVEP in general, and the types of employers that are landing on the SVEP List, how frequently, and in what parts of the country:

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