You never know when something will go wrong at your place of business, leading to someone getting injured or sick. As a business owner or manager, it is your duty to take workplace safety and health seriously and have a plan in place that helps prevent these things from happening, dealing with them if they do, and educating staff about protocol.

The United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that there were over 40 total recordable cases of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses in the state of Nevada in 2017 (the latest year on record).1 The Bureau reported 32 fatal occupational injuries in the state for that year. Eight of these were caused by "violence and other injuries by persons or animals," while 13 were recorded as transportation incidents, and seven were attributed to falls/slips. Three were from exposure to harmful substances or environments.2

"Ensuring that you have the tools, training and policies in place to make workplace safety a reality is one of the most important business practices your company needs to have in place," says Todd Schultz, chief administrative officer for the Nevada Safety Consultation and Training Section. "Safety on the job is one of the most powerful tools for controlling the costs of doing business. And it is the most important tool for ensuring your employees go home safely, each and every day."3

If you own a Nevada-based business, Schultz's organization is a great place to start looking at resources. The Nevada Safety Consultation and Training Section (SCATS), part of the Nevada Department of Business and Industry, offers on-site safety consultations by professionals, as well as free training classes and resources such as standards, brochures, and posters. You can also sign up for their email newsletter to stay in the loop.4

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) can also be a valuable resource.5 Visit its website for access to important links. Here, you can report an accident or fatality, view employer/employee rights and responsibilities, request public records, and file a notice of intent to adopt regulations. You can also view Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS), the Nevada Administrative Code (NAC), and the Nevada Operations Manual (NOM).

WorkplaceFairness.org6 is a good place to find for agency contact information. In addition to listings for agencies related to discrimination/harassment, unemployment insurance, wage and labor standards violations, and workers' compensation, it provides listings for health and safety agencies, including various branches throughout the state.

The Department of Business and Industry provides a printable PDF file7 of the health and safety regulations poster that employers must display in the workplace.

As the poster says, "Each employer shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees; and shall comply with occupational safety and health standards adopted under the Act."

The "Act" refers to the Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Act, which provides job safety and health protection for workers "through the promotion of safe and healthful working conditions throughout the State of Nevada."

You should also view the Nevada Workplace Safety Employee Rights and Responsibilities pamphlet8, make copies, and distribute them to your staff to be sure that everyone understands what is expected when it comes to on-the-job safety.

You may not think of your place of business as particularly dangerous, but the unexpected can and usually does happen. Ideally, it will never happen at your workplace, but reality indicates it's best to plan and prepare. Make use of the resources provided to you by the government.



The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice. Any views expressed in this article may not necessarily be those of Nevada State Bank, a division of Zions Bancorporation, N.A. Member FDIC