Multi-Employer Citationsby Robert and Rachel Layman on 03/07/16
On multi-employer worksites (in all industry sectors), more
than one employer may be citable for a hazardous condition
that violates an OSHA standard! A two-step process must be
followed in determining whether more than one employer is
to be cited.
Step One. The first step is to determine whether the employer
is a creating, exposing, correcting, or controlling employer.
An employer may have multiple roles. Once the role of the
employer is determined, we need to go to Step Two to
determine if a citation is appropriate. (Note: Only exposing
employers can be cited for General Duty Clause violations.)
Step Two. If the employer falls into one of these categories, it
has obligations with respect to OSHA requirements. Step Two
is to determine if the employer's actions were sufficient to
meet those obligations. The extent of the actions required by
employers varies based on which category applies. (Note:
the extent of the measures that a controlling employer must
take to satisfy its duty to exercise reasonable care to prevent
and detect violations is less than what is required of an
employer with respect to protecting its own employees.)
The Exposing Employer - Definition: An employer whose
own employees are exposed to the hazard. On multi-employer
worksites, both construction and non-construction, citations
normally shall be issued to employers whose employees are
exposed to hazards (the exposing employer).
The Correcting Employer - Definition: An employer who is
engaged in a common undertaking, on the same worksite, as
the exposing employer and is responsible for correcting a
hazard. This usually occurs where an employer is given the
responsibility of installing and/or maintaining particular
safety/health equipment or devices. Actions to be Taken:
The correcting employer must exercise reasonable care in
preventing and discovering violations and meet its obligations
of correcting the hazard.
The Controlling Employer - Definition: An employer who
has general supervisory authority over the worksite, including
the power to correct safety and health violations itself or
require others to correct them. Control can be established by
contract or, in the absence of explicit contractual provisions,
by the exercise of control in practice. Multiple Roles - A
creating, correcting or controlling employer will often also be
an exposing employer.
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