By James L. Curtis and Craig B. Simonsen

OSHA has recently posted to its website its Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP) White Paper and concludes that “employers have been paying attention”.

The SVEP, which became effective on June 18, 2010, was intended to focus enforcement efforts on “recalcitrant employers” who demonstrate indifference to the health and safety of their employees through willful, repeated, or failure-to-abate violations relating to significant hazards. Section XX of the SVEP Directive, CPL 02-00-149, required OSHA to submit an end of fiscal year report of SVEP activity. This White Paper provides the Agency’s latest SVEP end of fiscal year report.

In summary, at the end of FY 2011, there were a total of 191 inspections designated as SVEP cases.  The below chart brakes down the cases by SVEP criteria and year filed:


6/18 – 9/30/2010

FY 2011


Total SVEP Cases




SVEP-Fatality Cases



36 (19%), excl. egregious

Egregious Cases



25 (13%), excl. fatalities

Egregious Fatality



3 (2%)




126 (65%)




1 (1%)


OSHA concludes that the SVEP program is off to a strong start. “The field [offices have] begun conducting follow-up inspections and no follow-up inspection to date has itself been designated as a SVEP case. Further, SVEP has resulted in the expansion of enhanced settlement agreements. Employers have been paying attention to the SVEP since its initiation and the posting of the log to OSHA’s public site has clearly raised awareness.”

As we noted in an earlier blog, OSHA’s SVEP log lists hundreds of employer “severe violators”. The OSHA Guidance on removing employers from the log requires a period of three years from the date of the final disposition of the SVEP inspection citation items including: failure to contest, settlement agreement, Review Commission final order, or court of appeals decision. Employers may wish to work diligently to avoid SVEP listing in the first place.

Based on OSHA’s SVEP results thus far, we expect to see steady growth in OSHA’s SVEP program.