If you use or work with subcontractors on a project or on your property, make sure they follow all the proper safety requirements and have all the proper insurance policies in place. If they do not, it could open you and your company up to serious injuries to your employees or theirs, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) fines and lawsuits.
OSHA fines placed on a subcontractor/s also can be placed on the property owner, business or general contractor. This is the OSHA Multi-Employer Policy that allows OSHA to cite multiple employers at a single worksite for creating a hazard, or for failing to prevent or correct a hazard, even if their own workers are not exposed to the hazard. A ‘‘controlling’’ or ‘‘correcting’’ employer is liable for hazards that it did not take ‘‘reasonable care’’ to detect and prevent. Make sure you communicate your expectations and complete up-front due diligence on the companies or people you have working on a project or your property, because who wants to pay for others’ unsafe acts?
A few things that can help mitigate your risk: collect proof of insurance, build proper wording into contracts, verify training documents and written safety plans, review violation history of subcontractors, train your team in safety and risk awareness, and complete observations to verify proper safety equipment and processes are being used correctly.
The other hot issue that is both real and emotional is a violent confrontation in the workplace. Are you prepared by having a written action plan that also includes training for your employees? Have you trained key employees so when emergencies occur proper action is taken? Have you invited the local police to your property or job site to get guidance and support on what to do in event of a threat or attack? There are many techniques, hands-on programs and processes, as well as free resources available to build a good plan. Don’t delay implementing this important safety program!