OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Directive

In an effort to address urgent safety and health problems facing Americans in the workplace, OSHA implemented a new Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP) and is increasing civil penalty amounts. The SVEP directive became effective June 18th. The directive focuses its sights on employers who consistently fail to meet their obligations under the OSH Act.

The Severe Violator Enforcement Program will help OSHA concentrate its efforts on noncompliant employers who commit willful, repeated or failure-to-abate violations in the following categories: a fatality or catastrophe situation; in industry operations or processes that expose workers to severe occupational hazards and those identified as “High-Emphasis Hazards” (including fall hazards, amputations, combustible dust, crystalline silica, excavation/trenching, and lead); exposing employees to hazards related to the potential release of a highly hazardous chemical; and all egregious enforcement actions.

The directive also establishes procedures and enforcement actions including increased inspections. Mandatory follow-up inspections are required of a workplace found in violation, as are inspections of other worksites of the same company that may have similar deficiencies.

Last year, OSHA determined that current penalty amounts were too low to have an adequate preventive effect. Several changes to the penalty calculation system are being made. The changes will increase the overall dollar amount of all penalties. OSHA feels that the inspections and penalties must be large enough to discourage employers from cutting corners or underfunding safety programs to save a few dollars. OSHA hopes the SVEP will provide a greater deterrent and further encourage employers to furnish safe and healthy workplaces for their employees.

 

This information is provided as a service to you by Compliance Consultants, Inc.

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