Violator enforcement program starts in June: OSHA

Tuesday, May 11, 2010 @ 11:05 AM gHale

Violate OSHA’s rules and regulations and it will cost you more starting in June.
The Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP) will go into effect in June, which will also include raising the dollar value of its penalties, OSHA officials said.
“The current maximum penalty for a serious violation, one capable of causing death or serious physical harm, is only $7,000 and the maximum penalty for a willful violation is $70,000. The average penalty for a serious violation will increase from about $1,000 to an average $3,000 to $4,000,” according to OSHA’s officials. “Monetary penalties for violations of the OSH Act have been increased only once in 40 years despite inflation. The Protecting America’s Workers Act would raise these penalties, for the first time since 1990, to $12,000 and $250,000, respectively. Future penalty increases would also be tied to inflation. In the meantime, OSHA will focus on outreach in preparation of implementing this new penalty policy.”
SVEP, which replaces OSHA’s Enhanced Enforcement Program, targets high-emphasis hazards, defined as high gravity serious violations of specific fall standards (23 such standards are in general industry, construction, shipyards, marine terminal, and longshoring) or standards covered in National Emphasis Programs focused on amputations, combustible dusts, crystalline silica, lead, excavation/trenching, shipbreaking, and process safety management.
The SVEP inspection procedures contained in OSHA’s instruction to compliance personnel says a follow-up inspection must occur after the citations become final orders in these cases to determine whether the violator eliminated the problems or is committing similar violations.
“When there are reasonable grounds to believe that compliance problems identified in the initial inspection may be indicative of a broader pattern of non-compliance, OSHA will inspect related sites of the same employer,” the instruction states.

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