A local general contractor was fined $10,000+ this week for violations committed by one of their subcontractors.
The violations involved fall protection, scaffolding and workers not wearing PPE.

This is noteworthy because these violations arose due to OSHA’s Controlling Employer/Multi-Employer doctrine (see below). In our experience, OSHA typically only fines the subcontractor, but in this instance they fined the subcontractor as well as the general contractor for the same violations.

In addition to these current fines, the general contractor and sub-contract will now have these citations “on their record,” thus exposing them to potential future “Repeat Violations,” which carry potential $70,000 to $136,000+ fines PER VIOLATION/CITATION.

In other words, if OSHA inspects one of their job sites at any time in the future and cites the same violations, these huge fines could easily result.

We highly recommend that your company review the attached document and begin enforcing compliance with subcontractors as soon as possible.

OSHA Multi-Employer Worksite Doctrine

According to OSHA, employers on multi-employer worksites fall into four basic categories:
• Controlling
• Creating
• Correcting
• Exposing

Controlling – The controlling employer is the employer who, by contract or actual practice, has the responsibility and authority for ensuring that hazardous work conditions are corrected. In most cases this would be a general contractor. Acting general contractors are deemed the controlling employer and therefore responsible for the safety and health of all workers at the site.
Creating – The creating employer is the employer whose activities actually create a hazardous condition.
Correcting – The correcting employer is the employer responsible for correcting a hazardous condition.
Exposing – An exposing employer is any employer whose workers are exposed to a hazardous condition.

We have helped many Texas general contractors to manage OSHA compliance, learn more about our construction safety services here.