The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) officially rolled out its Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP) this past Friday, June 18, 2010. The program seeks to increase fines and penalties against companies that repeatedly violate OSHA standards.

The SVEP “concentrates resources on inspecting employers who have demonstrated indifference to their OSH Act obligations by willful, repeated, or failure-to-abate violations,” according to an official announcement.

Under the program, an inspection of a business meeting the criteria of a SVEP case may result in enhanced follow-up inspections of the worksite at issue, nationwide inspections of the same employer at related worksites, increased “company awareness” of OSHA’s enforcement actions against the company, and enhanced settlement provisions including possible corporate-wide agreements.

Though OSHA is currently limited in the dollar amounts of its fines, the SVEP program will increase fines to the mid- and upper-levels of those allowable under the law. Meanwhile, Congress is debating the Protecting America’s Workers’ Act (PAWA), which would dramatically increase OSHA fines, the first such increase in four decades if it happens. 

Personnel Concepts keeps constant watch on OSHA happenings and will keep you informed here and on our Compliance Alerts section of all future changes and developments.

Meanwhile, stay up to day with the latest OSHA Programs and Kits at Personnel Concepts’ dedicated Web section.