DIR provides enforcement recap, announces four citations for violation of coronavirus workplace health and safety measures


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Las Vegas, NV - October 05, 2020

The Division of Industrial Relations (DIR) continues to focus its efforts on compliance with workplace safety and health measures that must be enacted by businesses across the state to mitigate the public health concerns presented by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

During the third quarter, DIR administration implemented a compliance observation process to monitor compliance with applicable guidance and directives. Observations have been conducted at bars and restaurants, gaming properties, large and small retail establishments including grocery stores, home improvement stores, clothing stores, gyms, hair and nail salons, and other locations where large groups of people may congregate for longer periods of time, which can lead to a heightened risk of spreading the virus.

If non-compliance is found during an initial observation, the business is provided a written notice and request for voluntary compliance. A follow up visit by Nevada OSHA officials will be conducted. If the employer is still not complaint, a formal inspection is opened. If the observed violations are substantiated, a notice of citation and penalty will be issued. The maximum penalty of $134,940 can be assessed to an employer that willfully violates the provisions of the effective directives and guidance. If the employer is in compliance during the follow up visit, the inspection is closed with no further action taken.

The observation process supplemented investigative work already being done by Nevada OSHA in response to the thousands of complaints filed by employees and referrals filed by members of public since the initial shut down occurred in early March. The majority of complaints are resolved through an employer inquiry and response process. In instances where the inquiry process does not provide a satisfactory response or resolution of the complaint, an investigation is opened.

In-field inspections are also being conducted by OSHA officials when violations of standard or regulation are alleged in addition to reported coronavirus health and safety concerns.  A notice of citation and penalty is issued to the business if a violation is found as a result of the investigation. The maximum penalty of $134,940 can be assessed to an employer that willfully violates the provisions of the effective directives and guidance.

Observation compliance and citations

During initial observations conducted September 28 through October 2, Division of Industrial Relations (DIR) officials found that 92 percent of the 405 businesses visited were compliant with required health and safety measures to slow community spread of COVID-19.

Industry compliance for business types with 20 or more observations were as follows:

  • Bars, 116 observations- 91 percent
  • Restaurants, 117 observations- 92 percent
  • General Retail, 51 observations- 92 percent
  • Hair/ Nail/ Tattoo Salons, 27 observations- 93 percent
  • Other, 43 observations- 95 percent

Cities with compliance rates below the 92 percent statewide average for the same period include Sparks, 83 percent and Carson City at 89 percent.

A total of 8,912 initial visits have been conducted since the Governor’s Declaration of Emergency Directive 24 went into effect with an overall compliance rate of 89 percent. In northern Nevada, 4,497 businesses have been observed with a 90 percent rate of compliance, while 4,415 initial observations in southern Nevada found 87 percent compliance.

Officials also conducted 65 follow up visits, 48 of those were conducted in northern Nevada and found a 94 percent compliance rate. In southern Nevada, 17 follow up visits were conducted with a 100 percent compliance rate.

A total of 1,633 follow up visits have been conducted statewide, resulting in a cumulative compliance rate of 95 percent, with 97 percent overall compliance in northern Nevada and 93 percent in the south.

Once citation was issued last week as a result of observation process:

Welding Nevada

1518 Scotland Lane, Las Vegas, NV 89102

Penalty: $4,048

Violation Summary: Failure to comply with face covering requirement for employees and/or patrons.

Since the beginning of Q3 2020, 34 citations have been issued under the Division’s observation process.1

Complaint/referral statistics and citations

Nevada OSHA has received a total of 3,894 complaints and referrals related to coronavirus health and safety concerns. The top five complaint categories by industry include:

  • General retail- 1071 complaints, 27 percent
  • Restaurants and bars- 655 complaints 17 percent
  • Medical- 291 complaints, 7 percent
  • Gaming- 241 complaints, 6 percent
  • Grocery stores- 215, 6 percent

The top five zip codes for complaints include:

  • 89502 (Reno), 199 complaints
  • 89109 (Las Vegas), 184 complaints
  • 89119 (Las Vegas), 136 complaints
  • 89434 (Sparks), 128 complaints
  • 89431 (Sparks), 125 complaints

During the week beginning September 28, the following citations were issued as a result of closed complaint and referral investigations where violations of applicable guidance, directives and regulation were found:

Nevada Wine Cellars, Inc. dba Pahrump Valley Winery

3810 Winery Road, Pahrump, NV 89048

Inspection 1494458

Penalty $8,501

Violation summary: The business hosted an event at which their employees worked and at which the 50-person limit of attendees was exceeded, social distancing among attendees was not maintained and face coverings were not being worn by all attendees.

LMG, LLC 

7060 Windy Street, Las Vegas, NV 89119

Inspection 1494484

Penalty $6,073

Violation summary: Employees worked at an event at which the 50-person limit of attendees was exceeded, social distancing among attendees was not maintained and face coverings were not being worn by all attendees.   

Hel LLC dba Sea Salt

9635 Bermuda Road, Suite 150, Las Vegas, NV 89123

Inspection 1490331

Penalty $4,858

Violation summary: Employee and customer face covering deficiencies, lack of hazard communication program (chemical safety), lack of hazard communication training.  

Nevada OSHA published the first coronavirus-related guidance for employers operating under the essential phase in mid-March and has published subsequent revisions and new guidance as a result of the State’s phased reopening plan announcements. In addition to Nevada OSHA’s published guidance for employers to operate safety, the State has issued a number of directives for business under the Governor’s Declaration of Emergency.

Since mid-March, Nevada OSHA has issued 135 citations to businesses in violation of the effective guidance, directives and/or regulations. This is in addition to the citations issued as a result of the observation process.

About the Division of Industrial Relations:

The Nevada Division of Industrial Relations (DIR) 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, Workers’ 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.  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. The Nevada State Plan, at the time of publication of this media release, is funded by a grant of $1,486,600 federal funds, which constitutes 50 percent of the State Plan budget. Fifty percent, or $1,486,600 of the State Plan budget, is financed through non-governmental sources. For more information visit http://dir.nv.gov/OSHA/home.

Workplace safety concerns can be filed online with Nevada OSHA at https://www.osha.gov/pls/osha7/eComplaintForm.html.

 

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[1] Note that five citations listed in prior press releases and included in the citation tally are now being accounted for under the complaint and referral citation totals.