The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published criteria for removing employers from the agency’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP). In effect since June 2010, SVEP aims to focus agency resources on employers that allegedly demonstrate indifference to their responsibilities under the Occupational Safety and Health Act with willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations.

Under the new criteria, an OSHA regional administrator may remove an employer from SVEP (i) after a period of three years from the date of the final disposition of the SVEP inspection items, with final disposition occurring through failure to contest, settlement agreement, review commission final order, or court of appeals decision; (ii) after the employer has abated all affirmed violations, paid all final penalties, and abided by and completed all settlement provisions; and (iii) if the employer has not received any additional serious citations related to the hazards identified in the SVEP inspection at the initial establishment or any related establishments. If an employer fails to adhere to the terms and provisions of a settlement agreement, the employer will remain in the program for an additional three years and will then be reevaluated.