by Kevin P. DeMello, esq.
Anyone who works in the construction industry knows that it is common for multiple contractors to be on a job site at any one time. Because so many workers are doing so many different things at once, a construction job site can be a chaotic and dangerous place for workers. There are deadlines to meet and every contractor wants to impress the people who hired them by being on time and under budget. Often, these priorities pressure contractors to take short cuts when it comes to safety. Things like proper housekeeping, regular safety inspections, and safety enforcement sometimes take a back seat to more pressing concerns of schedules and deadlines.
As sub-contractors are always vying for the approval of the people that hired them, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) puts the ultimate duty to make sure that a job site is safe on the general contractor. OSHA calls this duty non-delegable, meaning when it comes to safety, the bucks stops on the general contractor’s desk. Often times the general contractor tries to shift this burden to the sub-contractors or the workers themselves, but OSHA requires that the general contractor bear this responsibility ultimately because they are the ones in the best position to make sure that the job site is safe. Therefore, if an accident happens on a job site, the general contractor often bears some part of the blame.
When a construction worker is injured on the job site in the course of his or her employment, there is usually a workers compensation claim involved. In addition, and especially if the worker was not employed by the general contractor, there is a potential third-party claim against the general contractor on the job site. These types of claims can be complex and involve violations of OSHA regulations, ANSI standards, and state regulations. It is important to seek counsel with experience in construction site claims to make sure such claims are handled properly. The attorneys at Keches Law Group, P.C. have handled thousands of these types of claims. If you were injured on a construction site, please contact us right away.