Recent Eighth Circuit Decision Has Significant Impact on General Contractors, Supports OSHA's Controlling Employer Theory of Liability

On February 26, 2009, the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit overturned a decision of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission and held that a "controlling employer" (e.g., a general contractor) may be cited for OSHA violations of its subcontractors, even when the controlling employer did not create the hazard and none of its employees were exposed to it. Challenges to OSHA's controlling employer citation policy can be expected to continue, but for the present time, general contractors and construction managers must be particularly vigilant in their supervision of the worksite to avoid liability for the safety infractions of other employers. Learn more in this article by Joan M. Fletcher.

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