Division of Industrial Relations notes higher rates of face covering compliance during July 6 observations

Las Vegas, NV July 07, 2020

Las Vegas, NV – In an effort to protect Nevada’s workers and educate businesses on the latest requirements so that Nevada can stay safe and stay open during the pandemic, the Division of Industrial Relations (DIR) Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is conducting ongoing field observations and inspections at establishments where patrons congregate for longer periods of time, which can lead to a heightened risk of spreading COVID-19. 

Since the Governor’s Declaration of Emergency Directive 024 went into effect on June 26, approximately 86 percent of businesses in northern Nevada and 67 percent of businesses in southern Nevada were in compliance on the date of the initial observation.  The Division has conducted 1090 initial field observations at large and small establishments including grocery, home improvement and clothing stores, hair and nail salons, tattoo parlors, bars and restaurant lounges, casino hotel gaming floors and pools.

On July 6, officials visited 169 locations including but not limited to convenience stores, restaurants, auto sales and maintenance, pharmacies, and general retail establishments and found a statewide compliance rate of 87 percent; 89 percent in northern Nevada and 79 percent in the south1. Highlights from the survey found compliance rates of identified business types including:  

  • Convenience stores- 74 percent compliance 
  • Pharmacies- 82 percent compliance
  • General retail- 87 percent compliance
  • Restaurants- 93 percent compliance
  • Automobile sales and maintenance- 100 percent compliance

In addition, the division is currently conducting follow up visits at locations where noncompliance was found during the initial observation. 

If a violation is found during the follow up visit, 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 directive. The business will also be a notice indicating that in the event of future noncompliance, the administrator may issue an order requiring the business to cease all activity at the business location during this state of emergency under NRS 618.545(1) until the business has established and implemented operating procedures to comply with the requirements.

Nevada OSHA has received over 1,000 COVID-19 safety-related complaints since mid-March.  Since the face covering mandate went into effect, complaint volume received by the established hotlines has increased significantly. Additional staff has been assigned to help assist with these call volumes. The agency is collaborating with local jurisdictions and other regulatory agencies through information sharing and response coordination to address the most critical and pressing complaints.  

Due to high call volumes, employees are encouraged to file complaints online at https://www.osha.gov/pls/osha7/eComplaintForm.html.

1Daily compliance rates will vary significantly from day-to-day based on the number of observations and the types of business surveyed. Industries targeted for observation where high rates of noncompliance are found will heavily skew the average compliance rate for that day.  

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.