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Loss Control

Enhanced OSHA Liability For Controlling Employers

From large-scale construction sites to office buildings and factories, many employers rely on one or more subcontractors to perform any number of specialized functions. In such an arrangement, the employer subcontracting work to another entity often assumes (and the contractual arrangement often directs) that the subcontractor is to retain exclusive responsibility for the safety and health of its own employees while performing the subcontracted work. In a recent decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, the court unequivocally held that an employer can no longer avoid OSHA liability simply by subcontracting work to another entity. Solis v. Summit Contractors, Inc., ___ F.3d ___, 2009 WL 465978 (8th Cir. Feb. 26, 2009).