Multi-employer worksites: When to keep control

by on March 10, 2015 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: Workplace Safety Network
916th Construction

A 25-year-old worker for an environmental-services firm was killed using a scissors lift, but police offered no real details. Jonathan Dennis was working in Sarasota, FL, for Creative Environmental Services of Orlando, a subcontractor of Gerardi Construction Inc. Dennis was pronounced dead at the scene by rescue workers.

Multi-employer worksites present companies with unique training challenges. Subcontractors are expected to bring well-trained, skilled workers to the site. The key issue becomes level of control. If the hiring company exercises control over the work, the company is liable for the results. But if it doesn’t, it’s the subcontractor’s duty to deliver the work safely.

In general, we recommend that you exercise control and take the liability if the work is safety-sensitive (read dangerous, such as working with a scissors lift) and you are working with a sub you haven’t worked with before. Insist on safety training for its workers and provide a supervisor to make sure the sub follows your safety procedures. If you are familiar with the subcontractor and know its supervisors, then you can give them more leeway and let them hold their own liability for safety.

The key issue is control – control when you need to, and don’t when you don’t.

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