OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program

Last month, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) launched the Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP) to target companies who blatantly disregard safety regulations.

These companies can expect an increase in OSHA inspections including mandatory follow-ups. According to an OSHA internal instruction document, the SVEP also includes increased company/corporate awareness of OSHA enforcement, corporate-wide agreements, enhanced settlement provisions, and federal court enforcement under Section 11(b) of the OSH Act.

The SVEP replaces OSHA’s existing Enhanced Enforcement Program. Some of the differences include:

  • The inclusion of high-emphasis hazards (like fall hazards and risks identified from certain National Emphasis Programs)
  • Nationwide Inspections of Related Workplaces/Worksites will be considered Critical Inspections for the purpose of 29 CFR 1908.7 (b)(2)(iv)
  • A nationwide referral procedure for Regions and State Plan States

According to a Department of Labor (DOL) press release, the SVEP will take effect within 45 days, as of the April 22, 2010 press release.

In related news, OSHA issued a press release detailing a revision in their penalty structure and increasing monetary fines for a minor safety violation, up from around $1,000 to an average $3,000 to $4,000.