In a memorandum to Regional Administrators, OSHA’s Director of Enforcement Programs (DEP) has set forth the criteria for employers to be removed from the Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP).  The memorandum stems from a review of the SVEP undertaken by DEP in fiscal year 2011.

Under the memorandum, an employer may be removed from the SVEP after a period of three years from the date of final disposition of the SVEP inspection citation items.  In addition, employers must have "abated all SVEP-related hazards affirmed as violations, paid all final penalties, abided by and completed all settlement provisions, and not received any additional serious citations related to the hazards identified in the SVEP inspection at the initial establishment or at any related establishments."

Final approval of removal from the SVEP is at the discretion of the Regional Administrator or his/her designee (except when national corporate-wide settlements are involved).  The memorandum also calls for an additional follow-up inspection before removal finally occurs.

Since the SVEP was issued, employers have questioned the agency on whether and how an employer in the SVEP can be removed from the program.  This memorandum provides further guidance to employers, but still leaves discretion to the Regional Administrators or Area Directors.

All employers should take note of this new memorandum.