By James L. Curtis and Craig B. Simonsen

Consistent with its threats to aggressively pursue employers who expose employees to workplace hazards, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited an Illinois metal fabricator for twelve alleged violations, including one willful and six serious citations, and issued a $317,000 penalty under the national and regional emphasis program on primary metal industries.

OSHA also unilaterally placed this employer on its Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP), which focuses on “recalcitrant employers that endanger workers by committing willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations.” Under the SVEP OSHA may inspect any of the employer’s facilities or job sites — possibly multiplying the number of other citations that the employer may become subject to. We have previously blogged about OSHA’s SVEP program, including its recent “White Paper”, and the onerous procedures for removal from the SVEP program.

Employers of all kinds, but especially those with multiple facilities, are urged to treat every OSHA inspection with critical importance. What happens at one facility may put facilities across the country at risk. Don’t put the company in a situation where it becomes liable to numerous inspections across the country. Work diligently on the company’s safety and health policies and programs, implementation, and training to stay out of OSHA’s SVEP program.