Additional reporting by Sudhiti Naskar, This Is Reno
LAS VEGAS – Officials with Nevada’s Division of Industrial Relations are ramping up their focus on compliance this week in response to Governor Steve Sisolak’s tightened restrictions to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. The efforts will target those counties with the highest reported cases per 100,000, which include Carson City, Churchill, Washoe and Elko counties.
On Monday Nevada’s COVID-19 Response Director Caleb Cage and Julia Peek, Deputy Administrator of Community Health Services, provided an update on the county level COVID-19 data.
Cage said that the county tracker has now flagged 13 counties out of 17, for elevated level of disease transmission.
- Washoe has been flagged for 9 consecutive weeks
- Lyon for seven weeks
- Clark, Elko and Lincoln for six weeks
- Carson City and Nye for five weeks
- Douglas County for four weeks
- Churchill and Eureka counties for three weeks
- Esmeralda, Humboldt and Lander counties for two weeks
Nevada Occupation Safety and Health Administration (Nevada OSHA) updated its guidance for employers to reflect the additional restrictions announced by Governor Sisolak on Sunday. It also acts on complaints received from employees and private citizens about a business not following protocols.
Since mid-June Nevada OSHA has also conducted observations at businesses across the state to determine compliance with Governor Steve Sisolak’s Emergency Directive 024 requiring face masks and Nevada OSHA’s Guidance for Roadmap to Recovery.
OSHA received nearly 5,000 complaints and initiated 10,000 business inspections finding an 89% statewide compliance rate. Last week officials conducted 251 initial visits observing only one business, a restaurant in Sparks, out of compliance.
Officials conducted more than 2,100 follow-up visits and charted a 96% compliance rate.
Complaints were lodged against a variety of businesses including 28% for general retail, 17% for restaurants and bars, 8% for medical facilities, 6% for casinos and gaming locales, and about 5% for grocery stores.
Information on how much the businesses compiled with the rules, or not, can be found in the OSHA dashboard.
Nevada OSHA has issued a total of 187 notices of citation and penalty related to violations of required COVID-19 health and safety measures in effect since mid-March, according to a statement.
Just last week Nevada OSHA issued five citations for violations of COVID-19 health and safety measures, including three related to competition and scrimmage basketball. Those fines were $3,643 each. A logistics company was fined $7,808 for failing to social distance during employee breaks and meetings, and an electrical and communications contractor was fined $8,675 for its workers not wearing masks or social distancing.
Resources for businesses
Nevada OSHA’s updated guidance for businesses following the governor’s tightened restrictions will be available online at http://dir.nv.gov. Additionally, the Division offers free consultation and assistance with implementing mandated workplace health and safety measures through its Safety Consultation and Training Section (SCATS) at 1-877-4SAFENV.
Local city and county governments have a variety of resources as well. For example, businesses in Carson City can apply for supplies including gloves, masks, hand sanitizer and cleaning solution at carson.org/ppe.
Workplace health and safety complaints can be reported to the Division by filing an online complaint at https://www.osha.gov/pls/osha7/eComplaintForm.html.