How to Get Your Company Off of OSHA’s “Severe Violator” List

 

The U.S. Department of Labor‘s Occupational Safety and Health Administration published criteria for removing employers from the agency’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP). SVEP has been in effect since June 18, 2010, and is intended to focus agency resources on employers that demonstrate indifference to their responsibilities under the Occupational Safety and Health Act with willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations.

On August 16, 2012, OSHA issued employer removal criteria from the SVEP program to all federal OSHA offices. Generally, an employer may be considered for removal from the program by an OSHA Regional Administrator after:

• A period of three years from the date of the final disposition of the SVEP inspection citation items including: failure to contest, settlement agreement, Review Commission final order, or court of appeals decision.

• All affirmed violations have been abated, all final penalties have been paid, the employer has abided by and completed all settlement provisions, and has not received any additional serious citations related to the hazards identified in the SVEP inspection at the initial establishment or at any related establishments.

In the event an employer fails to adhere to the terms and provisions of the agreement, the employer will remain in the program for an additional three years and will then be reevaluated.

Here is the Memo or you can click the link in the article:

August 16, 2012
MEMORANDUM FOR: REGIONAL ADMINISTRATORS
THROUGH: RICHARD E. FAIRFAX
DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY
FROM: THOMAS GALASSI, DIRECTOR
DIRECTORATE OF ENFORCEMENT PROGRAMS
SUBJECT: Removal Criteria for the Severe Violator Enforcement Program

This memorandum provides guidance on removing employers from the Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP). The SVEP has been in effect since June 18, 2010. To date, 288 inspections have been designated as SVEP inspections. In FY 2011, the Directorate of Enforcement Programs (DEP) began an in-depth evaluation of the SVEP. One of the areas considered was establishing procedures for removing employers from the program.

After reviewing the policy, DEP determined that an employer may be removed from the SVEP after a period of three years from the date of final disposition of the SVEP inspection citation items. Final disposition may occur through failure to contest, settlement agreement, Review Commission final order, or court of appeals decision. Employers must have abated all SVEP–related hazards affirmed as violations, paid all final penalties, abided by and completed all settlement provisions, and not received any additional serious citations related to the hazards identified in the SVEP inspection at the initial establishment or at any related establishments.

Except in cases where national corporate-wide settlements are involved, approval of the employer’s removal will be at the discretion of the Regional Administrator or designee and shall be based on an additional follow-up inspection and IMIS/OIS data. The Regional Administrator or his/her designee will then notify DEP via the SVEP log that the employer has been removed/lined-out. In the event that an employer fails to abate all hazards, pay all penalties, or comply with settlement terms during this three-year period, the Regional Administrator shall notify DEP with a brief summary of the situation. The employer will remain on the SVEP log for an additional three years and will then be reevaluated. For cases involving national corporate-wide settlement agreements, DEP will make the determination, upon the termination of the agreement, regarding the employer’s removal from the program. Pursuant to CPL 02-00-152, Guidelines for Administering Corporate-Wide Settlement Agreements (June 22, 2011), the National Corporate-Wide Settlement Coordinator will ensure that the follow-up requirements of the SVEP have been completed and the terms of the agreement have been implemented.

The previous guidance regarding lining-out establishments remains in effect when facts indicate that reclassification of the SVEP qualifying citations is appropriate due to the quality of evidence brought forth during settlement. However, removal from the SVEP list cannot be used as an incentive for settlement.

This policy will go into effect immediately.

If you have any questions, please contact Art Buchanan, Office of General Industry and Agricultural Enforcement at 202-693-1868.

 

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