Last year, the Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Nevada OSHA) began implementing a new penalty structure for violations the Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Act. Nevada Senate Bill 40, which went into effect on Oct. 1, 2019, was passed into law with the intent of aligning the Nevada OSHA penalty structure with the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (Federal OSHA) penalty structure. As a result, Nevada OSHA penalties have risen sharply in recent months giving Nevada employers extra impetus to ensure a workplace that is free from hazards that might result in a citation.
Federal OSHA Penalty Rates
Federal OSHA’s penalty structure was updated in 2016 as a result of the enactment of the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (Inflation Adjustment Act). The Inflation Adjustment Act requires the U.S. Department of Labor to annually adjust Federal OSHA penalties for inflation to encourage compliance and ensure that penalties continue to maintain their deterrent effect. States that operate their own Occupational Safety and Health Plans (State Plans) like Nevada are required to adopt minimum and maximum penalty levels that are at least as effective as Federal OSHA’s. (29 C.F.R. 1902.37)
Nevada OSHA Penalty Rates
To catch up to federal penalty levels, Nevada OSHA initially had to increase penalty rates by 78%. That increase went into effect on October 1, 2019. Beginning this year, state penalties are subject to an annual inflation adjustment corresponding with the annual cost of living increase in penalties adopted by Federal OSHA. (29 C.F.R. 1903.15(d).) Federal OSHA’s 2020 cost of living adjustment means a 1.8% increase in Nevada OSHA’s penalty maximums. Nevada OSHA’s new penalty rates are effective as to violations occurring on or after January 15, 2020.
Here’s how Nevada OSHA’s penalty maximums have increased in recent months:
|Type of Violation||October 1, 2019||January 15, 2020|
Other than serious
Nevada Regulatory violations
|$13,260 per violation||$13,494 per violation|
|Failure to correct||$13,260 beyond abatement date||$13,494 per violation|
|Willful or repeated||$132,598 per violation||$134,937 per violation|
The Nevada Division of Industrial Relation’s Safety Consultation and Training Section (SCATS) program shows just how much Nevada OSHA could assess in just one year from the new penalty rates. SCATS provides free on-site consultation services to Nevada employers focusing on the prevention of workplace injury and illness and the 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. Using this year’s penalty factor, those violations would have totaled over in $56 million in fines.
Coinciding with the state’s new penalty rates, Nevada OSHA revised the Nevada Safety and Health Protection on the Job workplace posting to reflect the 2020 penalty maximums. Every Nevada employer is required to post the revised posting in a conspicuous place where notices to employees are customarily posted. (NRS 618.375; NAC 618.6428) An employer who fails to post or maintain the Nevada Safety and Health Protection on the Job posting as required is subject to an administrative fine of up to $13,494. (NRS 618.675)
We can help you get in compliance with the posting update quickly. If you already have a Nevada All-On-One™ Poster, simply update your poster with our Nevada Safety and Health Protection on the Job Peel ‘N Post™ sticker. If you need a new Nevada All-On-One™ Poster, simply purchase and post. You are guaranteed 100% compliance.