The Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Nevada OSHA) seeks to implement a new regulation aimed at preventing heat-related illnesses and ensuring the well-being of workers in the state. While this regulation did not pass during the 2023 legislative session, it may still be brought during a special session. Nevada OSHA may still issue citations related to heat-related illnesses under its general duty clause.
- Nevada OSHA is proposing a new regulation to protect employees exposed to temperatures at or above a dry-bulb temperature of 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
- The proposed regulation requires employers to develop and implement written heat illness prevention plans.
- Under the proposed regulation, employers would be required to provide employees with training related to heat illness.
Summary of Key Points
Heat Illness Prevention Plan
The proposed regulation requires “employer[s] of employees who are exposed to temperatures at or above a dry-bulb temperature of 90 degrees Fahrenheit” to develop and implement written heat illness prevention plans, pursuant to which employers would be required to:
- explain how water will be provided to employees;
- ensure rest breaks for employees who are exhibiting signs of heat illness;
- provide “shade or other means for cooling”;
- monitor employees for heat illness;
- monitor “acclimatization of employees for at least the first 14 days of their employment”;
- identify “work processes that may generate additional heat or humidity and procedures to mitigate the hazards”;
- train employees and management;
- develop “[p]rocedures for responding to an emergency”; and
- “[w]here … required to establish a safety committee …, provide employees with an opportunity to provide comment on the program for management of heat illness.”
Training and Education
In addition to requiring heat illness prevention plans, the proposed regulation requires employers to train employees and supervisors on the “[w]orking conditions that create the possibility that heat illness could occur,” among other things.
Nevada OSHA has conducted a public hearings on the heat illness regulation. Opponents voiced their concerns about the potential impact of the regulation on business operations and costs. While acknowledging the importance of worker safety, they also requested clarity on certain provisions, such as establishing industry-specific guidelines to ensure practical implementation.
Ogletree Deakins’ Las Vegas office and Workplace Safety and Health Practice Group will continue to monitor developments with respect to these and other regulatory changes and will provide updates on the firm’s Nevada and Workplace Safety and Health blogs as additional information becomes available.