OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP)
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has rolled out its new program, the Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP) to identify employers with repeated, serious citations, and intend to subject them to increased, multi-worksite inspections and higher penalties.
According to OSHA, the SVEP will “focus increased enforcement attention on significant hazards and violations” by concentrating on employers that have demonstrated “indifference” to workplace safety obligations through willful, repeated, or failure-to abate-violations in four areas:
- Fatality or catastrophe situations;
- Industries that expose employee to the most severe hazards–among the “high-emphasis hazards” covered by the SVEP are falls, amputations, crystalline silica combustible dust, lead, and excavation and trenching;
- Industries that expose employees to the potential release of highly hazardous chemicals;
- Egregious enforcement actions.
Once an employer is selected for the SVEP, OSHA will undertake a number of enforcement steps including enhanced follow-up inspections, as well as inspections at other worksites of that same employer—potentially on a nationwide basis. The program includes new features that will allow OSHA to conduct more aggressive multi-worksite inspections against those employers that fall within the program, as well as a nationwide referral program and closer coordination with states having OSHA state plans.
“Higher penalties and more aggressive, targeted enforcement will provide a greater deterrent and further encourage these employers to furnish safe and healthy workplaces for their employees,” said DR. David Michaels, OSHA Assistant Secretary of Labor.
In addition, the agency will be increasing civil penalty amounts under SVEP. OSHA said that companies can expect average penalty for a serious violation to increase from about $1,000 to an average $3,000 to $4,000. Future penalty increases would also be tied to inflation.