Since the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in June 2010 announced a new emphasis on its Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP), the agency has nearly doubled the number of companies on its severe violators list.

OSHA defines severe violators as those “employers who have demonstrated indifference to their OSH Act obligations by willful, repeated, or failure-to-abate violations.”

Prior to the SVEP's June 2010 re-emphasis program, OSHA says about 180 firms had been cited as severe violators. Since then, the number has grown to 330. 

Of the establishments on the severe violator list, construction companies continued to account for most, with 52 percent (172) of the businesses, down from 61 percent a year ago.

Manufacturing was the next largest category with 31 percent (102) of the listings, compared with 19 percent a year ago. Wholesale trade was the only other category in double digits, with 26 companies, roughly the same as last year.

Employers, be forewarned: Being cited as a severe violator can lead to costly fines and repeated inspection visits at all of your work sites to ensure compliance.

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