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
About the Division of
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
About Nevada OSHA:
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.
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