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OSHA INSTRUCTION: CPL 02-00-169 – Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP), September 15, 2022.

SVEP White Paper - January 2013: Draft Recommendations: (

This Instruction updates enforcement policies and procedures for OSHA's SVEP, which concentrates resources on inspecting employers that have demonstrated indifference to their OSH Act obligations by committing willful, repeated, or failure-to-abate violations. It replaces OSHA's June 18, 2010, Severe Violator Enforcement Program. Enforcement actions for severe violator cases include mandatory follow-up inspections and, where appropriate, ensure increased awareness of the enforcement actions at the corporate level, corporate-wide agreements, enhanced settlement provisions, and federal court enforcement under Section 11(b) of the OSH Act. In addition, this Instruction provides for nationwide referral procedures, which include OSHA's State Plans.

OSHA considers an inspection to result in a SVEP case if it meets at least one of the criteria below. All OSHA standards are applicable to SVEP.

  1. Fatality/Catastrophe Criterion.
    A fatality/catastrophe inspection where OSHA finds at least one willful or repeated violation or issues a failure-to-abate notice based on a serious violation directly related either to an employee death, or to an incident causing three or more employee hospitalizations.
  2. Non-Fatality/Catastrophe Criterion.
    An inspection where OSHA finds at least two willful or repeated violations or issues failure-to-abate notices (or any combination of these violations/notices), based on the presence of high gravity serious violations. NOTE: Low and moderate gravity serious violations do not fulfill this criterion.
  3. Egregious Criterion.
    All egregious (e.g., per-instance citations) enforcement actions shall be considered SVEP cases.

OSHA will remove an employer from the Severe Violator Enforcement Program Log after at least three years from the date of receiving acceptable abatement verification. To be eligible for removal, the employer must have:

  1. Abated all SVEP-related hazards,
  2. Paid all final penalties,
  3. Where applicable, followed and completed all applicable settlement provisions,
  4. Received no additional serious citations related to the hazards identified in the original SVEP inspection or any related establishments, and
  5. Have received one follow-up or referral OSHA inspection.

Yes, if an employer agrees to an Enhanced Settlement Agreement they may elect to reduce the SVEP term to two years. In such cases, SVEP removal is contingent on the employer agreeing to developing and implementing a safety and health management system (SHMS), within the two year period, that includes policies, procedures, and practices that are effective to recognize and abate occupational safety and health hazards and protect employees from those hazards. The employer’s SHMS should include at least the seven basic elements outlined in OSHA publication 3885, Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs (October 2016), and should also include provisions for evaluating and improving program effectiveness, along with a provision for OSHA’s review and evaluation of the SHMS. Lastly, implementation must be verified by an independent third party (i.e. a CSP, CIH, or – for a unionized workplace – a national union safety and health representative), subject to the approval of OSHA.

Yes, to obtain a complete list of inspections in OSHA’s SVEP Public Log, select the following Link: Public SVEP Log 12/01/2023