General Contractors are often tasked with being everywhere at the same time and OSHA takes no exception to that. OSHA’s directive number CPL 2-0.124 states that on any multi-employer worksite, multiple companies can be held liable for the same OSHA infraction, even the “controlling” entity (read: General Contractor) even if they didn’t cause the infraction.
Under this directive, four types of entities can be held responsible for one entities violation:
- The Creating Employer- the entity that caused the violation
- The Exposing Employer- the company whom exposed their employees to the hazard
- The Correcting Employer- the business responsible for correcting the hazard
- The Controlling Employer-the supervisor of the workplace, typically the General Contractor
So, what can the “controller” do to protect itself from the safety issues others create on the jobsite? Craig Martin, a Construction Attorney, suggests including an indemnity clause to contracts a GC makes with a subcontractor. An indemnity clause simply requires a business that caused another business a loss to reimburse that business. In this case, if an indemnity clause is added to a contract between a General Contractor and a Sub-contractor, the sub-contractor would be legally obligated to pay for the OSHA fines that it caused. Martin’s posy over at the Construction Contractor Advisor includes a sample clause as a reference for your next contract.
Can General Contractors Make Subcontractors Pay for OSHA Violations? | Construction Contractor Advisor