Effective June 5, OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP) will increase the number of OSHA inspections on jobsites where employers are deemed to “endanger workers by demonstrating their indifference to their (workplace safety) responsibilities under the law.”
In a recent Regulatory Alert, the Associated Builders & Contractors reports OSHA will include mandatory follow-up inspections on these jobsites, as well as inspections on worksites run by the same employer where OSHA believes similar hazards might exist.
In April, OSHA stated that SVEP is intended to go after employers that have committed violations that qualify as “willful,” “repeated” or “failure to abate,” as well as violations that result in a fatality, expose employees to highly hazardous chemicals, or that involve “high-emphasis” hazards. Examples of high-emphasis hazards are fall hazards in construction and other industries; amputation hazards; lead hazards; and excavation hazards.
In addition, OSHA stated publicly that it plans to cite employers for ergonomics hazards under the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act’s General Duty Clause. This precludes the need for a stand-alone ergonomics standard in industries where ergonomics is already a “recognized hazard.”
OSHA also plans to launch two pilot programs directly targeting the construction industry. First, the agency plans to test recordkeeping enforcement on construction and mobile worksites during the time it is conducting a national emphasis program (NEP) on non-mobile worksite recordkeeping. Second, OSHA plans to test the utilization of building inspectors to identify and report suspected safety hazards in 11 cities nationwide.
For more information, including tables outlining the new penalty levels, view OSHA’s SVEP directive Here.