• John Larrimer

OSHA Vows to Raise Fines for Oil Companies with Unsafe Workplaces

Workplace fatalities remain high in the oil industry due to be an unwillingness to maintain a safe work environment. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), inspections of 58 refineries between 2007 and 2011 turned up an average of 17 safety violations per site.

Due to a high number of workplace fatalities and failed inspections, OSHA has announced that it will increase the penalties on oil and gas extraction companies. The new policy will subject companies engaged in “high hazard” activities to OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

The Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP) was created in 2010 to focus on companies with repeat willful violations, or in other words, companies that frequently disregard the safety of employees. For an employer to land on the SVEP list, an OSHA inspection would need to find two or more willful or repeated safety violations. Employers can also be placed on the SVEP list for failing to fix violations that resulted in the death of an employee.

Consequences under SVEP are more severe, and can include inspections of an entire company instead of one location. In addition, SVEP allows OSHA to conduct repeat follow-up inspections, issue press releases of each individual SVEP citation and force the employer to hire safety consultants.

How Can Employees in the Oil Industry Get Workers’ Comp Benefits?

Employees who have been injured while working in the oil and gas industry might be able to receive workers’ compensation or disability benefits. Contacting an attorney can help injured workers learn more about the best options for their situations.

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Larrimer & Larrimer, LLCColumbus Workers’ Comp Attorney

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