NV OSHA Alert – Proposed Regulations Require Nevada Employers To Mitigate Heat Illness

Volume: 20 | Issue: 60
September 13, 2021

The Nevada Division of Industrial Relations of the Department of Business and Industry will conduct a public hearing on October 14, 2021 to consider proposed permanent regulations amending Nevada’s occupational safety and health regulations (Chapter 618 of the Nevada Administrative Code). The new proposed regulations would require Nevada employers to mitigate occupational injuries and illnesses resulting from heat exposure in the workplace.

The proposed regulations are not entirely clear. It appears that they seek to impose certain requirements on all Nevada employers and additional requirements on those Nevada employers whose employees are exposed to temperatures at or above either 80 degrees Fahrenheit or the “applicable Wet-Bulb Globe Temperature” in Celsius.

The proposed regulations seek to impose the following requirements on all Nevada employers:

  • ensure that employees have ready access to potable drinking water that is “fresh, pure and cool” and encourage employees to drink water frequently;
  • if water is not continuously supplied, provide a sufficient quantity at the beginning of each work shift to ensure one quart per employee per hour for the entire shift;
  • provide training on specific topics to all supervisory and nonsupervisory employees who may be affected by issues relating to heat illness; and
  • if an employee shows signs of heat illness, relieve the employee from duty, provide the employee with sufficient means to reduce his/her body temperature, and monitor the employee to determine whether medical attention is necessary.

For Nevada employers whose employees are exposed to temperatures at or above 80 degrees Fahrenheit or the applicable Wet-Bulb Globe Temperature in Celsius, the proposed regulations seem to impose the following additional requirements:

  • include a program for the management of heat illness in your written safety program which must include provision for water, rest and shade, monitoring of employees for heat illness, training of employees and management, and procedures for responding to an emergency; and
  • provide access to an area with shade that is either open to the air or provided with ventilation or cooling to an employee who is suffering from heat illness or believes he/she needs a period of time to recover from the heat to prevent heat illness. 

Although the regulations do not specify this, it seems that NV OSHA wants employers to purchase a “wet-bulb globe heat stress meter” for use at each covered workplace to determine the temperature. It also appears that Nevada employers will need to purchase written materials on heat stress and strain which have been adopted and incorporated by reference into the proposed regulations.

Employers and the public are invited to attend the October 14 hearing which will be conducted remotely. Oral comments may be made during the hearing or you may submit written comments in advance of the hearing.  

KZA will submit written comments about the proposed regulations and will attend the October 14 hearing. If you have concerns or questions about the proposed regulations and would like us to include your feedback in our written comments, please contact Dare Heisterman at [email protected] and Jody Florence at [email protected].

KZA Employer Report articles are for general information only; they are not intended and should not be construed to be legal advice. Reading or replying to such articles does not establish an attorney-client relationship. In addition, because the subject matters and applicable laws discussed in Employer Report articles are often in a state of change and not always applicable to every type of business entity or organization, readers should consult with counsel before making decisions based on the same.

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