The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has developed a Severe Misconduct Enforcement Program (SVEP) to focus immediate attention and resources on businesses that are endangering their employees. As an employer, this is not a list that you personally or professionally want.
These are basically government statements and positions stating to the world that you are at high risk of harming your employees and do not have the capacity or will to manage your business. There are several key focus areas that you as an employer need to be aware of in order to stay compliant with OSHA SVEP rules.
Create a List
The first and best choice for any business is not to find yourself on the list. How? The entire program is based on the premise that there are companies that pose certain types of significant risk to their employees in two ways. If a company has demonstrated through previous injury, illness, or death while also appearing indifferent to that risk, they will be placed on the list of serious offenders.
In general, the first step to not making a list is having a genuine concern for your employees and the second part of this equation is having no employee incidents. More specifically, there are four criteria that will place an organization on the list. The four criteria are:
Inspections related to death or catastrophe where there was some intentional violation of OSHA compliance.
Any inspection of what is classified as a “High Emphasis Hazard” that reveals two or more intentional violations of compliance requires enforcement.
Any OSHA inspection of a highly hazardous chemical process that results in the discovery of willful infringement requires an enforcement protocol.
Any individual citation to an organization that is so egregious as to cause permanent harm and should be escalated to be handled under the SVEP protocol. (www.osha.gov2014)
In the event of an employee accident, respond quickly, responsibly and decisively. Any organization that does not take these actions and has an incident will be listed. To minimize the possibility of workers being injured, you must register them with osha course 10 hours.
Programs for severe safety violations are intensive and consequential. Failure to comply with any of the corrective actions required by OSHA will result in the immediate partial or complete closure of the organization, depending on the circumstances of the breach and the company’s response to SVEP compliance requirements. Failure to comply in one area can result in microscopic inspection of the entire organization to determine the character of the overall safety program.
If later inspections reveal a system-wide failure to implement safety protocols and the company has the potential for permanent harm or has a history of significant injury, the organization will be subject to the agency’s full regulatory powers which may result in fines, closure, or possible government assumption of management duties through action. court. OSHA SVEP has the power to set rules that can be enforced by the courts.
The court may request that a third party organization or new position be created within the company on a permanent basis to ensure that compliance is maintained. While some sort of infringement settlement is reached, federal government micromanagement will be intensive and could span the entire United States if your business is national. Compliance plans can also be highly localized with state oversight depending on how your state and federal government share responsibility for implementing OSHA standards.
As a business owner, your primary responsibility is to have an actively managed program dedicated to employee safety and health. Employee safety must be addressed specifically as part of the business and must be an important component of the organizational culture. No single policy will work for every company. Any policy in place should evaluate the hazards of that specific risk environment and match policies and practices accordingly while simultaneously taking OSHA requirements into account. While it’s a reasonable cynical view to believe that the government is out to get your business, the reality is that the government doesn’t have to invent excuses to fine people.
There are approximately 2,200 inspectors working for OSHA who are responsible for more than 130 million employees in more than 8 million workplaces. (www.osha.gov,2014) To avoid being listed, consistently review your safety policies and ensure they reflect your current business posture and that they are being enforced. Do not rely on your own knowledge and experience as the only source of expertise for policy making.
Take advantage of OSHA guidelines, state guidelines, and your industry safety best practices. The most interesting and perhaps telling word of the four SVEP surveillance criteria is intent. You have to ignore the importance of safety in some form to come under the extreme scrutiny of the most intense OSHA programs. Again, this is a genuine demonstration of concern through workplace policymaking and management, for the benefit of your employees, which will help you not run into the enforcement authority of OSHA agencies.
Ray Donato, is currently studying health and safety and related issues to ensure he is ready to pursue his planned career path. to ensure his future company has the best health and safety program in the industry, he plans to coordinate his efforts using the software and support from him www.ecompliance.com. You can learn more about Ray from Google+.