The U.S. Department Labor recently issued a scathing report critical of Nevada’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The department of labor looked into Nevada OHSA’s handling of 25 work accidents involving fatalities, and found the agency did not properly investigate the workplace accidents or levy the appropriate penalties. Problems with the Nevada OSHA offices ranged from inadequate methods of internal communication to an office-wide policy, in essence, to not issue violations for “willfull” violations of OSHA standards. In half of the cases examined, Nevada OSHA did not tell the family of the worker killed in a construction accident that there was an investigation. This failure violated Nevada law. These findings do not come as a surprise to Atlanta workers compensation attorneys or to lawyers who represent those who have been the victim of a Georgia work injury cases
Fines imposed on companies for workplace accidents and construction site accidents were routinely reduced, and there was an absence of large fines in construction site fatality cases. “Looking back,” a Nevada official said, “we should have taken a more aggressive approach.” Apparently, Nevada OSHA was discouraged from pursing willful violations, with one state official claiming “they’re hard to prove.”
This report shows that Nevada construction workers have not been adequately protected by Nevada OSHA. If Nevada OSHA cannot complete a thorough investigation into a construction worker death, even when the employer has been cited for dangerous working conditions multiple times.
Nevada construction workers deserve better. As an Atlanta workers’ compensation attorney and construction accident law firm, the Flynn Law Firm has seen the dangers created by poor enforcement of OSHA standards. Violations of OSHA rules frequently lead to worker injury or death.