There are 23 percent more worksites in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program than there were last year, according to an article by Jackson Lewis PC in the National Law Review.
As of July 1, there were 423 sites in the program, up from 343 last year, the labor and employment law firm reports.
“The agency actually had added 85 sites, but five were dropped after the companies successfully contested violations that made them eligible for the program,” Jackson Lewis reports.
Launched in 2010, OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program “concentrates resources on inspecting employers who have demonstrated indifference to their OSH Act obligations by willful, repeated or failure-to-abate violations,” in the words of the agency.
As Jackson Lewis explains:
"Employers want no part of SVEP, because OSHA can increase its oversight of their operations by scheduling return inspections to monitor compliance or open new inspections of companies’ other workplaces and seek settlements with additional requirements.
… Once a site gets into the SVEP, it is not easy to leave. One critic described OSHA’s exit criteria as “fairly mythical” and noted that while it takes alleged willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations to get into the SVEP, only a serious violation is needed to keep the site there. Since about 75 percent of all OSHA inspections result in a serious violation, it is unlikely a site will get off the list after three years."
Construction and manufacturing firms and small employers dominate the list of severe violators, Jackson Lewis reports.