Construction Jobsites are ever changing environments with multiple tasks at any given time. Bringing order and control to the ever changing environment can present quite a challenge for companies specifically related to safety. Construction is the most dangerous of all U.S. industries. The industry has the most days away from work incidents as well as the most fatalities in the USA. In an effort to decrease the number of accidents and fatalities in construction over the years OSHA has implemented various approaches to combat the exposures.
OSHA implemented to Multi Employer worksite standard which emphasizes that all parties are responsible for safety when working on a construction site with more than one employer. The standard states that more than one employer may be citable for a hazardous condition that violates an OSHA standard. OSHA must determine whether the employer is the creating, exposing, correcting or controlling employer. If the employer falls into one or more of these categories they are citable under the Multi Employer citation policy. The Multi-employer worksite policy is not only an enforcement tool for OSHA it also enforces the philosophy that everyone on project must be responsible for safety.
When dealing with a subcontractor accident who attempts a third party over suit against the general contractor what can be construed as controlling a jobsite may also trigger liability for the general contractor. Recent case law has determined that a general contractor may be held liable for the death or injury of a subcontractor employee when it is determined that the field manager or foremen had the authority to correct hazard or to direct a subcontractor foreman to correct the hazard but failed to do so. The case law interpretation is another motivator for everyone on a jobsite to accept and maintain the responsibility for safety.
A controlled jobsite is one in which everyone is responsible for safety. Many larger construction companies have known this for years and have implemented and maintained extensive safety programs in the construction industry. Depending on the classification of the construction company, some of the construction industry is still struggling. With the challenges of language barriers and smaller subcontractors with less access to resources, safety was overlooked on many residential construction projects. This has been a recipe for failure that has been proven over time. According to the OSHA statistics, more deaths occur in residential construction than in any other construction project.
For a construction company to minimize exposure to loss and remain competitive in the market there must be a focus on safety and accident prevention. There are many components to an effective safety process in construction. This paper will address those that have shown to have proven success at CF Jordan LP.