U.S. Dept. of Labor announces changes to OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program

Changes aim to strengthen enforcement, improve compliance.


Source: U.S. Dept. of Labor

via The National Provisioner - September 19, 2022


To strengthen enforcement and improve compliance with workplace safety standards and reduce worker injuries and illnesses, the U.S. Department of Labor is expanding the criteria for placement in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program.


The new criteria include violations of all hazards and OSHA standards and will continue to focus on repeat offenders in all industries. Previously, an employer could be in the program for failing to meet a limited number of standards. The changes will broaden the program’s scope with the possibility that additional industries will fall within its parameters.


Since 2010, the Severe Violator Enforcement Program has focused on enforcement and inspection resources on employers who either willfully or repeatedly violate federal health and safety laws or demonstrate a refusal to correct previous violations. In addition to being included on a public list of the nation’s severe violators, employers are subject to follow-up inspections.


“The Severe Violator Enforcement Program empowers OSHA to sharpen its focus on employers who—even after receiving citations for exposing workers to hazardous conditions and serious dangers—fail to mitigate these hazards,” said Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Doug Parker. “Today’s expanded criteria reflect the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to ensuring OSHA has the tools it needs to ensure employers protect their workers or hold them accountable when they fail to provide safe and healthy workplaces.”


Specifically, the updated criteria include the following: