One governor has thumbed his nose at federal OSHA’s suggestions for strengthening his state’s safety agency. This is the same state that had much to do with federal OSHA’s crackdown on state workplace safety programs.
Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) has vetoed two bills that would have toughened the state’s workplace safety regulations. Sandoval said the regulations were burdensome to businesses.
AB 253 would have allowed Nevada’s OSHA to issue fines to employers that don’t live up to settlement agreements following safety inspections. Currently, the state has to sue businesses in civil court to enforce those agreements.
AB 254 would have allowed Nevada OSHA to issue a citation if an inspector finds any employee had access to a hazard. The bill would have clarified that an inspector wouldn’t have to see an employee near the hazard before issuing a citation.
Last fall, federal OSHA issued a report on 25 state and territorial workplace safety agencies.
The larger crackdown was prompted, in part, by the Las Vegas Sun’s 2009 Pulitzer Prize-winning series on construction worker deaths on that city’s Strip and the response by Nevada OSHA.
The two vetoed bills grew from federal OSHA’s suggestions on how the state could improve its workplace safety program.
Federal OSHA has promised more follow-ups on its monitoring and evaluation of the state safety agencies.