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Implications of the Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Act for Employers

Implications of the Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Act for Employers
Nevada’s Occupational Safety and Health Act (Nevada OSHA), NRS 618 et seq., is an important source of protections for workers in our state. To avoid serious legal consequences for noncompliance, Nevada employers need to understand how the law affects their obligations.

Relationship to federal OSHA

Nevada OSHA is a federally approved variant of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, 29 U.S.C. 15 et seq. The federal law was designed to create a uniform safety standard across the country, and as such it preempts state laws. However, states are allowed to adopt their own standards with federal approval, provided that the state rules are at least as strict as the federal mandate.

Features of Nevada OSHA

Nevada OSHA varies from the federal OSHA law in important ways. In addition to specific rules regarding especially dangerous activities, such as the use of cranes or explosives, or working with dangerous materials like asbestos, the Nevada law has a number of rules that most employers need to keep in mind.
  • Scope. Nevada OSHA applies to workplaces in the state in the private sector as well as state and local government employers, with exceptions for federal government employers, private sector employees at military facilities, and workers on Indian tribal lands, among others. NRS 618.095.
  • Safety programs. Nevada OSHA requires employers with 11 or more employees, or who manufacture explosives, to develop and implement a written workplace safety program. NAC 618,538, NAC 618.540, and NAC 618.542. Such programs are composed of policies, procedures, and practices designed to create safe and healthy working conditions. State regulations have specific requirements of what needs to be in a plan, such as who is responsible for implementing it, how the employer analyzes and responds to hazardous conditions, approaches to training, and accident procedures. The Division of Industrial Relations Safety Consultation and Training Section (SCATS) has prepared a useful guide for developing safety programs that comply with state standards.
  • Hazard communication. If an employee is exposed to toxic or harmful materials in amounts that exceed applicable standards, the employer is required to promptly notify the employee of the exposure and any corrective actions the employer is taking. NRS 618.380.
  • Special industry rules. Many state OSHA laws impose additional requirements on specific industries. Every employer needs to determine if special rules apply to them. An example in Nevada is a new set of requirements for safety training in the entertainment industry. The requirements, which will go into effect on January 1, 2018, will require certain entertainment employees and managers to undergo OSHA safety trainings of 10 or 30 hours, depending on their role.
  • Enforcement. Nevada OSHA is administered by the Nevada Department of Business and Industry.
GGRM has a long and distinguished record of helping workers recover compensation for injuries suffered on the job. Compliance with Nevada OSHA is an important part of avoid serious workplace accidents and their long-lasting consequences. We would be happy to talk with you about your OSHA questions. To speak with an attorney, give us a call at 702-388-4476 or get in touch with us through our website.