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OSHA Revises Severe Violator Enforcement Program Criteria

Sep 15, 2022

To strengthen enforcement, improve compliance and reduce worker injuries and illnesses, OSHA is expanding the criteria for placement in the its severe violator enforcement 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, meaning additional industries may fall within its parameters.

“The program empowers OSHA to sharpen its focus on employers that — even after receiving citations for exposing workers to hazardous conditions and serious dangers — fail to mitigate these hazards,” says OSHA Administrator Doug Parker. 

Among the updated criteria:

  • Program placement for employers with citations for at least two willful or repeated violations or that receive failure-to-abate notices based on the presence of high-gravity serious violations.
  • Follow-up or referral inspections made one year — but not longer than two years — after the final order.
  • Potential removal from the program three years after the date of receiving verification that the employer has abated all program-related hazards. In the past, removal could occur three years after the final order date.
  • Employers’ ability to reduce time spent in the program to two years, if they consent to an enhanced settlement agreement that includes use of a safety and health management system with seven basic elements in OSHA’s Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs.

The updated program instruction is in effect until OSHA cancels or issues new information.


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