Who is Responsible for Safety on a Construction Site?
According to the United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there were 1,061 worker fatalities in the construction industry in 2019 alone. This accounted for approximately 20 percent of all worker fatalities across every industry that year. Our Los Angeles construction accident attorneys at Ellis Injury Law know how dangerous construction jobs can be, and when it comes to who is responsible for keeping construction sites safe, there are several different entities that may have that obligation depending on the facts of each case. Hiring the right attorney to represent you is often a key step in maximizing the financial value of your claim.
Common entities that may be responsible for safety on a construction site
Construction sites and projects vary widely in size and scope, as some may cover vast and sprawling areas and include multiple contractors from a variety of companies, while others may be on a much simpler and smaller scale. Some of the parties that may be responsible for safety on a construction site include the following:
- The owner of the construction company: This is usually the first place to look. It is their job to ensure that the site is OSHA compliant by implementing and enforcing safety measures and monitoring the site to verify that everyone maintains compliance.
- Project managers or general contractors: The general contractor is the main contractor heading up a construction project, and is tasked with either removing or minimizing any construction site safety hazards.
- Construction foremen: They are typically the liaison between labor and management, and the construction foremen control every aspect of a construction project. They typically work directly with both outside and inside contractors, and are in charge of security and safety at each construction site.
- Subcontractors: They are contracted to perform specific tasks as part of a larger construction project. Subcontractors are required to comply with OSHA standards and are responsible for ensuring that their work is performed safely.
- The owner of the construction site property: This varies from case to case. If the property owner maintained significant control of the construction site during the project, rather than relinquishing primary control of the site to the subcontractors, then he or she could be found liable for any injuries or accidents that take place.
- Engineers and architects: Like the others on this list, their work and designs must comply with industry standards to ensure that the workers completing these projects are not exposed to any unreasonably dangerous conditions caused by errors such as design defects.
What are the safety requirements for a construction site?
The OSHA specifies some of the employer’s responsibilities regarding maintaining a safe construction site. Here are some of those requirements:
- Provide a workplace free from serious recognized hazards and comply with standards, rules, and regulations issued under the OSH Act.
- Examine workplace conditions to make sure they conform to applicable OSHA standards.
- Make sure employees have and use safe tools and equipment and properly maintain this equipment.
- Use color codes, posters, labels, or signs to warn employees of potential hazards.
- Establish or update operating procedures and communicate them so that employees follow safety and health requirements.
- Employers must provide safety training in a language and vocabulary workers can understand.
Hiring an experienced attorney can make all the difference
If you are injured on a construction site, determining whether any OSHA violations caused your accident and, if so, which entity to name as a defendant in your construction accident lawsuit is often highly complex. That is one reason our LA construction attorneys at Ellis Injury Law stress the importance of hiring an experienced construction accident lawyer to handle your case and help maximize your financial recovery.
For over 25 years now, our attorneys at Ellis Injury Law have been there to help injured victims here in Los Angeles fight for justice. We have earned more than $350 Million in jury verdicts and settlements on behalf of our injured clients.
Our phones are on 24/7
If you have questions about who is responsible for safety on a construction site, call Ellis Injury Law 24 hours a day to book your cost-free consultation. We will not charge you anything unless you prevail.