The State of Nevada recognizes that the quality of the indoor air environment in State owned and leased buildings can have a significant impact on the comfort, health, productivity and morale of State employees. This issue can also affect the public/clients that we serve. There are multiple factors that contribute to the indoor air environment. In regard to mold, which has become an issue of concern, there are currently no OSHA or EPA standards that establish permissible exposure limits. A consensus document has been developed by the related to the current medical position in regard to the health effects of exposure to mold. The use of chemicals at the worksite (or by other businesses in the near vicinity of a workplace) can also create an indoor air quality problem if proper ventilation and containment controls are not implemented.
The State of Nevada is committed to addressing and responding to the challenge of indoor air quality through the development and implementation of a plan that establishes policy, procedures, protocols and accountability related to prevention, investigation, remediation of identified problems and employee health issues. Until such time as permissible exposure limits are established for various types of fungi and consensus is achieved within the medical field regarding health effects of mold, the State will adopt a conservative position. Standard protocols for prevention, investigation, sampling, remediation and medical treatment will be developed, implemented and consistently applied. Protocols for leased buildings have been established. Communications with employees and the public regarding the status and results of an investigation will be open, prompt and direct. A prevention plan will be developed and implemented.
Employee reports of potential indoor quality problems and adverse health effects will be promptly and thoroughly investigated to determine if there may be an isolated, localized or potential building-wide problem. This applies to State owned and leased buildings.
Investigations will be coordinated and funded through the Risk Management Division and/or the State Public Works Board.
Employee communications will be emphasized during the course of the investigations.
In some cases an investigation may consist of epidemiological study of employees/building occupants, thorough visual inspection of the building and HVAC systems, review of building maintenance history focusing on past water intrusion events and microbiological or other related sampling and analysis.
When preliminary employee surveys (epidemiological study) indicate that 20% or more of a building’s occupants report health effects consistent with exposure to mold or other indoor air contaminants, a building wide or area specific investigation, including destructive testing, may be initiated to identify or rule out the presence of mold contamination.
When microbiological sampling and analysis establishes that atypical species of mold, that are associated with water damaged materials, are identified and vary from the species or levels of outdoor mold and/or control buildings, further investigation, employee communications and remediation activities, if indicated, will be initiated.
Workers' Compensation Claims
When mold contamination is suspected and/or confirmed, as supported by investigation and epidemiological study, workers’ compensation claims for “exposures” will be reviewed on a case by case basis.
Appropriate medical evaluation, monitoring and/or treatment will be offered to employees during the course of the investigation and remediation process.
Temporary relocation, pending the completion of an investigation and remediation, may be offered to employees who are experiencing consistent and chronic adverse health effects during the course of the investigative and/or remediation process.
Decisions regarding occupational diseases will be made on a case-by-case basis in accordance with current workers’ compensation laws and will generally be made upon completion of an investigation and remediation or permanent relocation.
Specific physicians will be identified on the workers’ comp managed care panel with expertise and training in indoor air quality issues to provide evaluation and treatment.