The Nevada state Senate took a measure to improve workplace safety this week. For the first time since 1990 Nevada employers will face a significant increase in fines. In 2015 the federal government raised fine amounts and how “Catastrophes” (loss of life or limb) are investigated. Senate Bill 40 authorizes the Nevada safety authorities to raise their fine levels to what the federal government has established. Any safety violation could prove costly!

So, what does this mean for you? Under the old penalty schedule a serious violation could face a penalty of up to $7,000. Administrators will be able to impose a penalty of up to $13,260 for serious violations. In addition, willful or repeat violations that are considered serious face a new maximum fine of up to $132,598 per violation.

If you are working in Nevada, there hasn’t been a better time to evaluate your safety training program. Although the law allows for penalties for businesses that put their employees at risk. The law does provide employers certain protections for employers who can prove the violations were caused by employee negligence. You may be wondering, is my company taking the steps necessary to prove we followed the law if there is a safety violation? Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Do we provide every employee with a formal Safety Orientation prior to being assigned tasks?
  2. Do we ensure that every employee is given documented training for any piece of equipment or tool that is assigned to them? In addition, how often do we require the training to be refreshed?
  3. Does our company require a daily job safety analysis to be signed by each employee prior to working each day?
  4. Do we inspect our facility or project once every 30 days for possible safety violations?
  5. Do we enforce our safety policies? Are there actual records of discipline for employees who violate safety processes?
  6. Do our employees and management know what to do when an inspector arrives?

If you answered no to any of the above questions, you may find it difficult to prove that your company wasn’t at fault for any incident that may occur. In addition, in certain cases where the violations are willful and or repeated. Criminal penalties can be imposed.

If you need assistance improving your safety program, please contact us by dialing 877-209-9648 or email [email protected]. Since 2009 we have created hundreds of safety training programs and safety policies for all types of businesses. For several business types we can provide a full safety orientation, safety training program, and full safety policy within a week. Once you review it, we will add or remove anything you don’t want included one time for no additional charge. Furthermore, we can work with you to provide the exact level of training your employees need in the shortest amount of time.

We are asked a lot about how to handle inspections by state or federal government agencies. Having a plan that is reviewed quarterly by everyone is an often overlook key component to avoiding safety violations. To learn more about what we recommend, check out our free resource “What to do When OSHA Arrives”.

By: Scott Teepe Jr.