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More Nevada comapnies fined for COVID-19 safety violations

A Las Vegas Strip hotel and a steakhouse in Eureka were fined last week for violations of workplace health and safety measures put in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The citations were issued last week by the Division of Industrial Relations’ Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Agency officials monitor and enforce compliance through in-field observations and through investigations opened in response to complaints and referrals filed with OSHA, and last week’s fines were the result of one observation and one investigation.

The Aria Resort &Casino at 3730 South Las Vegas Blvd. in Las Vegas was fined $12,617 for a lack of social distancing at point-of-sale terminals used by employees. The citation to Aria Resort &Casino was issued after an investigation was initiated as a result of a complaint or referral filed with Nevada OSHA alleging workplace safety hazards.

The Eureka Owl Club LLC at 61 North Main Street in Eureka was fined $2,950 for employees not wearing face coverings or not wearing face coverings properly. The citation to Eureka Owl Club LLC was issued after officials observed noncompliance with one or more requirements of general and industry-specific guidance and directives during both an initial observation and a follow-up visit by division officials.

The employer was provided a notice and a request for compliance during the first visit. Upon observation of ongoing noncompliance during a follow-up visit, a formal investigation was opened with the employer. The violations were substantiated during the investigation, and a notice of citation of penalty was issued.

Nevada OSHA has issued 177 notices of citation and penalty related to violations of required COVID-19 health and safety measures in effect since mid-March.

In light of increasing COVID-19 infection rates in the state, the division has modified its enforcement practices in counties that have met at least two out of the three criteria as identified by the COVID-19 Mitigation and Management Taskforce for elevated disease transmission. The criteria include an average number of tests per day of fewer than 100 per 100,000 people, more than 200 cases per 100,000 people and more than 50 cases per 100,000 people with a testing positivity rate higher than 8.0%.

In these counties, if violations are observed by OSHA officials during the initial visit to a business establishment, an inspection will be opened with the employer. If the violations can be substantiated during the investigatory process, a citation will be issued. A written notice will be issued indicating that in the event of future noncompliance, the administrator may issue an order requiring the business to cease operation at that location during this state of emergency under NRS 618.545(1) until the business has established and implemented operating procedures to come into compliance.

A follow-up visit will be conducted at cited businesses to verify that the violative conditions cited during the initial visit have been corrected. If the business is in compliance at that time, no additional action will be taken.

DIR officials have conducted 9,655 initial visits at business establishments finding a cumulative 89% statewide compliance rate, 90% in Northern Nevada and 87% in Southern Nevada.

During the week beginning Oct. 26, officials conducted 102 initial visits across the state at a wide range of business sectors, finding an 86% compliance rate statewide.

Cities with compliance rates below the statewide average last week include Las Vegas, with 50% compliance in 10 observations, and Reno, with 81% compliance in 32 observations.

Since observations to determine compliance with mandated health and safety measures began, DIR officials have conducted 1,843 follow-up visits finding a 95% statewide compliance rate, 97% in Northern Nevada and 93% in the south.

During the week beginning Oct. 26, officials conducted 53 follow-up visits, finding a 93% statewide compliance rate.

In addition to the field observation process, Nevada OSHA continues to respond to complaints and referrals regarding face coverings, social distancing, cleaning and disinfection and other areas of concern related to COVID-19 received by their offices. Of the 4,454 complaints received, 28% of the complaints concern general retail followed by 18% for restaurants and bars, 8% about medical facilities, 6% concern casinos and gaming and 5% for general retail.

The top five zip codes for complaints to date are 89502 in Reno with 231 complaints, 89109 in Las Vegas and unincorporated Clark County with 200 complaints, 89431 in Sparks with 158 complaints, 89119 in unincorporated Clark County with 152 complaints and 89434 in Sparks with 133 complaints.

Additional complaint data is available on the division’s observation and complaint data dashboard. A link to the dashboard can be found on the homepage of the division’s website http://dir.nv.gov.

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.

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