The following article was written by Miami Construction Lawyer Alex Barthet and appeared first on The Lien Zone. It was re-posted with permission from the author. To view the original post, titled, “Posting No Trespassing Signs – Strict Compliance Needed,” click here. For more information about Alex and his firm, please visit TheLienZone.com and Barthet.com.
We have all seen those “No Trespassing” signs prohibiting access to construction sites, but few may be aware of both the meaning and the specifics of the law applicable to these words.
A recent case, which reversed a conviction for trespass, illustrates well all the elements necessary to enforce a designated no trespassing area. Florida Statutes provide that it is a third degree felony to trespass on a construction site which is legally posted. Posted land is defined as land upon which signs are placed not more than 500 feet apart and at each boundary corner and upon which there appear in letters not less than 2 inches in height, the words “NO TRESPASSING”. The name of the owner or occupant of the land must be included. The signs must be clearly visible and need to state the following:
THIS AREA IS A DESIGNATED CONSTRUCTION SITE, AND ANYONE WHO TRESPASSES ON THIS PROPERTY COMMITS A FELONY.
Though the state in this recent case argued that only substantial compliance with these requirements was necessary to enforce the trespassing law, the court found that the failure of the owners to post a sign at each corner was fatal to any attempted conviction of a trespasser.
If you decide to post these signs, you better do it right.
The lockout/tagout (LOTO) procedure has been one of the critical elements of electrical safety training on construction sites for a decade. Generally, it’s pretty simple: if you need to work on an energized circuit or piece of equipment, shut down the breaker, put a lock on it so no one can turn it back on, and place a tag on it with your information. OSHA is considering updating the standard now and is currently requesting information from interested parties.
As the United States just recently suffered another tragic and deadly construction incident involving civilians after a crane collapsed in Seattle over the weekend, we’re reminded that the bridge collapse on FIU’s campus in Miami in early 2018 still has many unanswered questions.
Last July, a 13 story building in Miami Beach that undergoing a demolition suddenly fell, amid odd circumstances, and flying debris fatally injured one of the contractor’s project managers. Now, the family of the man killed is filing lawsuits against all parties involved with the demolition, calling it “illegal” and “reckless.”
Construction is hard work and those working hard for your company should be paid in full and on-time for all hours worked. Cash flow can certainly complicate things for contractors, as pay draws can be delayed for various reasons, but cheating workers out of money is not only unscrupulous, but is gaining attention from government agencies.
Even though OSHA recently eliminated the need for employers to electronically submit OSHA Forms 300 and 301, citing privacy concerns, companies are still responsible for submitting OSHA Form 300A – and the deadline is fast approaching.
Multi-employer worksites are extremely common in the construction industry, but they can still make work extremely complicated. One of those complications results when a subcontractor receives a governmental violation, such as an OSHA violation. As a controlling employer on the site, can a general contractor be held responsible for safety hazards of a subcontractor? One court says yes.
Be careful - owners and contractors are now being held criminally liable for their carelessness and disregard of safety protocols.
Last November, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. announced felonious assault charges against a contractor’s superintendent and a manufacturer’s branch manager after two men suffered horrific injuries on a New York jobsite. Last week, OSHA formally announced citations against the St. Louis, Missouri based contractor.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R Vance Jr strikes again on his hard stance against corruption and safety negligence in the construction industry. A Few weeks ago, he announced assault charges against a superintendent and a manager after 2 construction workers were seriously injured on a jobsite. In 2016, he successfully convicted a construction foreman of criminally negligent homicide and reckless endangerment after a laborer was killed in a trench collapse that he was overseeing. Just last week, Vance announced charges against formers Turner Construction and Bloomberg LP executives in a $15M bid-rigging and commercial bribery conspiracy.
In September of 2017, OSHA’s new standard on exposure to respirable crystalline silica went into effect in the construction industry. The rule lowered the allowable exposure to the harmful substance to 50 micrograms per cubic meter, a measurement that we’re all familiar with [/sarcasm]. After a full year of enforcement, OSHA is considering making a change to the rule.