NV OSHA Issues Heat Hazard Alert
August 21, 2023
The Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Administration (NV OSHA) has notified Nevada businesses of a Hazard Alert issued by the Department of Labor (DOL) addressing heat exposure. This Alert reaffirms that all employers have a duty to protect workers against heat and outlines that employers should do the following:
- at a minimum, employers should provide adequate cool water, rest breaks, and shade or a cool rest area for employees;
- give new or returning employees the chance to gradually acclimatize (or become used to working in hot temperatures), to be trained and plan for emergencies, and to monitor for heat signs/symptoms;
- train employees on heat illness prevention, signs of heat illness, and how to act immediately if they or another employee appears to be suffering from a heat related illness.
The Alert was issued as part of President Biden’s efforts to protect workers and communities from extreme heat, announced on July 27, 2023. He has asked the DOL to “ramp up enforcement of heat-safety violations, increasing inspections in high-risk industries like construction and agriculture.”
In a July 28, 2023, letter to Nevada businesses, NV OSHA also reminds employers of the federal OSHA’s National Emphasis Program on heat illness and injuries which was adopted by Nevada on June 15, 2022. Under this Program, Nevada OSHA will proactively initiate inspections of targeted industries on days the National Weather Service announces a heat warning or advisory. (Targeted industries are listed on Appendix A to NV OSHA’s July 28 letter.) Inspections of other industries may also take place on “heat priority days,” defined as any day where the temperature reaches or exceeds 90-degrees Fahrenheit.
NV OSHA is currently working on a regulation to address heat injuries and illnesses, and the federal OSHA is working on a heat hazard standard. In the meantime, NV OSHA’s July 28 letter provides detailed recommendations to assist NV employers in meeting their general duty to protect workers from heat illness and injuries. We encourage all Nevada employers to carefully review it. KZA attorneys are available to answer any questions you may have.
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.