AWI e-briefs - 07/02/2009 (Plain Text Version)

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Court Says GCs Responsible for Safety on Multi-Employer Job Sites

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit recently ruled that OSHA’s general duty clause can be used to hold a general contractor liable for unsafe practices on a jobsite, according to the American Subcontractors Association (ASA).

In Solis v. Summit Contractors, Inc., the court found that compliance with OSHA regulations and rules are ultimately the responsibility of the "controlling employer," and that OSHA can issue citations to a general contractor on a multi-employer construction site when it does not "prevent or abate hazardous conditions."

ASA reported that the OSHA regulation states: "Each employer shall protect the employment and places of employment of each of his employees engaged in construction work by complying with the appropriate standards prescribed." The case involves a college dormitory project in Little Rock, Ark., in which Summit’s masonry subcontractor was working without personal fall protection and guard rails on scaffolding taller than 10 feet. OSHA discovered the violations and cited both the general contractor and the subcontractor under its Multi-Employer Citation Policy.  [Return to top]