Rely on Occupational Safety & Health ReporterSM for full news coverage and documentation of federal and state workplace safety and health programs, standards, legislation,...
Program and policy changes at OSHA are on hold until the Trump administration appoints leadership at the agency, officials from the Department of Labor’s Office of the Solicitor and OSHA said March 8.
Among the changes on hold are discussions about revisions to the Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP), said Occupational Safety and Health Administration director of enforcement Thomas Galassi. The program enables the agency to place employers with significant alleged violations under close scrutiny.
“Once we have political leadership, we’ll have those discussions,” Galassi told about 100 attorneys with practices focused on on-the-job safety and health issues at the Midwinter Meeting of the American Bar Association’s Occupational Safety and Health Law Committee in Jupiter, Fla.
Since the severe violator program’s start in 2010, it has been criticized by employer groups for damaging employers’ reputations even while citations are being appealed. About 510 employers are labeled severe violators.
Also on hold are initiating new regional and local emphasis programs, singling out industries for increased inspections.
“Due to the transition, we haven’t moved on any of these yet,” Galassi said.
Attorneys representing employers expect that OSHA under President Donald Trump will make cooperative and consultation programs a higher priority for the agency.
Labor officials highlighted corporate-wide settlement agreements as a way OSHA and large employers with numerous violations can cooperate instead of litigate.
The agreements are typically reached after a company has been cited for OSHA violations at multiple locations. In exchange for the employer agreeing to make substantial improvements to its safety efforts, OSHA will often cut fines by upwards of 50 percent.
Orlando Pannocchia, the labor solicitor’s counsel for regional litigation, said the agreements are a “cooperative venture” between the employer, workers and OSHA.
But industry attorney Eric Hobbs of Ogletree Deakins PC’s Milwaukee office questioned how equal the relationship between an employer and OSHA could be.
“An enforcement partnership is oxymoronic,” said Hobbs.
To contact the reporter on this story: Bruce Rolfsen in Washington at BRolfsen@bna.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Pearl at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)