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June 18, 2010
Contact: Office of Communications
Phone: 202-693-1999

OSHA's severe violator enforcement directive effective June 18

WASHINGTON - OSHA announced today that the Severe Violators Enforcement Program directive is effective June 18th. The agency announced in April that it was implementing the program to focus on employers who continually disregard their legal obligations to protect their workers.

OSHA's SVEP focuses enforcement efforts on employers who willfully and repeatedly endanger workers by exposing them to serious hazards. The directive establishes procedures and enforcement actions for the severe violator program, including increased inspections, such as mandatory follow-up inspections of a workplace found in violation and inspections of other worksites of the same company where similar hazards or deficiencies may be present.

The directive explains that the SVEP is intended to focus enforcement efforts on employers who have demonstrated recalcitrance or indifference to their OSH Act obligations by committing willful, repeated or failure-to-abate violations in one or more of the following circumstances: a fatality or catastrophe situation; in industry operations or processes that expose workers to severe occupational hazards; exposing workers to hazards related to the potential releases of highly hazardous chemicals; and all egregious enforcement actions.

Visit the Severe Violator Enforcement Program directive for more details.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit


U.S. Labor Department news releases are accessible on the Internet at The information in this release will be made available in alternative format upon request (large print, Braille, audiotape or disc) from the Central Office for Assistive Services and Technology. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.

OSHA News Release - Table of Contents

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