Understanding the Multi-Employer Worksite (Part 2) - The Creating Employer

Miller & Martin PLLC Blog | June 21, 2018

The obvious employer in a multi-employer worksite hazard investigation is the creating employer. This is the employer that creates the hazardous condition that violates an OSHA standard. While this is a fairly common situation for an OSHA citation, i.e. that the employer who creates the hazard is citable, the difference on a multi-employer worksite is that the creating employer’s own employees need not be exposed to the hazard. The creating employer is citable even if only the employees of other employers are potentially exposed to the hazard.

Example: An employer is working on a job site and as part of a job site created an elevated ten foot working surface above a lower working surface. The employer failed to install guardrails or provide appropriate fall protection, and therefore created a hazard in violation of an OSHA standard. The employer, however, had no one working on the elevated work surface as all work was being performed by other contractors. Even though the contractor that built the elevated working surface did not expose its own employees to the fall hazard, it exposed the employees of other employers to the fall hazard and is therefore citable as the creating employer.

On a multi-employer worksite, the creating contractor is the easiest to cite from an OSHA standpoint as there is no requirement to show that its own employees were exposed to the hazard, only anyone’s employee.

Tags: OSHA, Multi-Employer Worksite, Hazard Investigation, Creating Employer