September 22, 2022

OSHA Expands Criteria for Severe Violator Enforcement Program

Recent changes to OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program mean that additional industries may now fall within the program’s parameters. In a press release published last week, OSHA explains that it is expanding the criteria for placement in the program to include violations related to all hazards and OSHA standards. The program previously focused on a limited number of standards. Other changes to program criteria have to do with removal eligibility—employers are now eligible for removal from the program three years after completing hazard abatement rather than three years from the final order date—and minimum duration in the program. Based on OSHA’s updates, employers are now able to reduce their time spent in the program to two years if they come to a settlement agreement with the agency that includes the use of a health and safety management system.

The updated program went into effect on Sept. 15 and will remain in effect until it is canceled or superseded. Further details about the new criteria can be found on OSHA’s website and in a recent agency directive.

The Severe Violator Enforcement Program focuses enforcement and inspection resources on employers who willfully or repeatedly violate federal health and safety laws or refuse to correct previous violations. Employers placed in the program appear on a public list of severe violators and are subject to follow-up inspections by OSHA.