After the Aria casino in Las Vegas received a $12k COVID-19 violation from OSHA, owner MGM said it plans to contest the citation.
The Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has stepped up fines and citations for COVID-19 violations in the wake of an increase in overall coronavirus numbers.
A long list of new safety protocols has largely been adopted and implemented across Nevada, but there have been various violations of the new rules. OSHA investigates violations of workplace safety in all businesses within the state, but casinos have been a source of concern.
The large numbers of people gathering in tight places has prompted the state to take preventative action in light of the pandemic. OSHA begins investigations after receiving complaints or referrals alleging violations of workplace safety protocols.
The Aria received a citation for violation of safety protocols and a $12,617 penalty. OSHA stated that the Aria violated worker safety by its lack of social distancing at point-of-sale terminals used by employees.
MGM Resorts, which owns Aria, contested the citation in a statement to OSHA:
“Aria has been cooperating with Nevada OSHA and plans to contest the citation and penalty because it does not believe it has violated any safety laws. There is no higher priority than the health and safety of our guests and employees and nothing we take more seriously. Our Seven-Point Safety Plan has clear policies for maintaining safe distances and other important protocols. Our employees are trained extensively and held to high standards. We will continue reinforcing these protocols and keeping them top of mind for employees and guests.”
Nevada OSHA has issued 177 citations and penalties related to COVID-19 safety violations since mid-March. The number represents the actual number of cases investigated and completed during this time. However, the number of complaints is much higher, and OSHA reacts accordingly.
Las Vegas and its surrounding area account for 200 complaints, falling in second place after Reno, with 231 complaints. The total number of complaints across all business sectors is 4,454. 28% of the complaints concern general retail, 18% for restaurants and bars, 8% for medical facilities, and 6% for casinos and gaming.
Overall, OSHA’s investigations found a 90% compliance rate in northern Nevada and an 87% compliance rate in southern Nevada.
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