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OSHA publication outlines conditions for removal from Severe Violator Enforcement Program

Employers must always be careful not to cut corners, and to take the necessary steps to protect their workforce from serious work injuries. The reason? The consequences for failing to provide a safe work environment can be both considerable and costly: increased employee work comp claims, higher workers' compensation insurance premiums, possible criminal prosecution, and fines/penalties from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

In fact, those employers who display what OSHA defines as "indifference" to workplace safety risk being placed in the agency's Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

Started in June 2010, the SVEP program applies to those employers who have been issued repeat violations, failure-to abate violations or willful violations (i.e., those "committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health").

The problem for many employers across the United States who have been placed on the SVEP list is that they have found it difficult to get their names removed from it -- even if they have enacted the necessary safety measures and created better working conditions.

Fortunately, OSHA has recognized this problem and recently published the conditions under which an employer can seek to have their name removed from the SVEP list.

In general, the decision to remove an employer from the SVEP list will be left up to regional OSHA administrators (with the exception of cases involving national corporate settlements) and subject to the satisfaction of the following conditions:

  • Three years must have passed since the final resolution of the SVEP inspection citation items; This includes a decision from the court of appeals, a final order from the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, a settlement agreement or a failure to contest
  • All cited violations must be adequately addressed or "abated," all penalties must be paid in full, all settlement provisions must be completed and abided by, and no further serious citations related to the dangers in the original SVEP inspection have been issued

Employers should take note, however, that failure to abide by the provisions of the agreement will result in placement on the SVEP list for another three years, after which time reevaluation can occur.

Stay tuned for more our workers' compensation defense blog ...

This post was provided for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.

Source:

EHS Today, "OSHA publishes removal criteria so employers can get off the severe violator list," Sandy Smith, Aug. 24, 2012

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