General Contractors and Their Legal Safety Liability of Subcontractors

Our very own Steven Lowry from the Sterling branch wrote this article!

Abstract

This paper delves into complex area of general contractor liability regarding their subcontractors’ unsafe acts. The general contractor, as the controlling contractor, certainly has a responsibility for overall safety of a job site, but what if there is an adequate safety plan that the subcontractor failed to follow? Is the general contractor still responsible? What if the subcontractor provided false documentation regarding their safety program or certifications? Does responsibility of safety translate into liability for unsafe acts in these instances? Although the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) does provide some direction, OSHA will still hold the general contractor accountable for unsafe acts on a project. Some actions to help limit liability and transfer accountability back to the offending party are detailed. However, ensuring a safe worksite and an adequate safety plan are always best practices.

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