Nevada OSHA penalties for serious, willful violations set to increase on October 1


Contact

Teri Williams
Public Information Officer
702-486-0407
Las Vegas, NV - September 25, 2019

The Division of Industrial Relations announced today the implementation of increased penalties for violations of the Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Act, effective for any OSHA investigation opened on or after October 1, 2019.  The increased penalties are a result of the passage of Senate Bill 40 during the 2019 legislative session.  Senate Bill 40 authorizes the Division to adopt penalties in amounts not to exceed those imposed by federal OSHA’s enforcement program, with the intent of aligning Nevada’s state-issued penalties with those issued by federal OSHA. 

Nevada OSHA’s administrative penalties have not increased since 1990 and have carried a maximum penalty of $7,000 for serious violations.  The new penalty structure adopted following the passage of SB 40 will increase the maximum penalty for serious violations – which have a high likelihood of seriously injuring or killing a worker – to $13,260.  In instances where violations are determined to be willful in nature, or in certain instances of repeated violations, maximum penalties will increase from $70,000 to $132,598 per violation.

Nevada OSHA will continue to match penalties assessed by federal OSHA, including any penalty adjustments implemented as a result of the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015. 

In addition to penalty changes, SB 40 extends the time period available to regulated entities to initiate the process to contest citations and penalties.  This change in the statutory contest period came as a request from industry representatives during the last legislature.  Effective for all citations issued on or after October 1, 2019, regulated entities will have 30 calendar days to notify the agency of their intent to contest a citation; the previous time limit was 15 working days. 

The Division’s Safety Consultation and Training Section (SCATS) provides Nevada employers with free consultation services focused on the prevention of workplace injury and illness, and identification and remediation of hazards that may result in OSHA citations should an inspection occur. During FY2019, SCATS performed 766 on-site consultation visits for approximately 650 employers across the state. During these visits, 4,158 serious hazards were found.

During the consultation process, employers are given the opportunity to resolve the hazard without penalty. If each of the 4,158 hazards found during SCATS consultations were found during an OSHA inspection, each violation would have been subject to a penalty of up to $7,000, costing Nevada employers over $29 million in fines. Under the adjusted penalty structure, those fines would have totaled over $55 million in fines. 

Employers, especially those within the construction, manufacturing and hotel industries, are encouraged contact SCATS to schedule a free consultation at 1-877-4SAFENV(472-3368) or visit www.4safenv.state.nv.us to learn more.

About the Division of Industrial Relations:

The Nevada Division of Industrial Relations is the principal regulatory agency responsible for workplace safety and worker protections in the state of Nevada.  Comprised of five sections –Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Worker’s Compensation Section, Mechanical Compliance Section, Mine Safety and Training Section, and the Safety Consultation and Training Section – DIR works to protect Nevada’s working men and women and provides a broad scope of training and support to the regulated community.  For more information please visit http://dir.nv.gov

About Nevada OSHA:

Nevada OSHA operates as an approved state program as defined by section 18 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 and is required by the Act to operate in a manner that is at least as effective as the federal OSHA enforcement program.  Nevada OSHA receives 19% of its funding from federal grants. Operating out of district offices in Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada OSHA conducts inspections and investigations intended to identify hazardous conditions which could harm Nevada’s workers and enforces state and federal laws protecting the state’s workers. From July 2018 to June 2019, Nevada OSHA conducted over 1,060 inspections, issuing an average of 1.4 serious violations per inspection. For more information visit http://dir.nv.gov/OSHA/home.

# # #