OSHA's Multi-Employer Citation Policy: Intro for In-House Lawyers

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By Jonathan R. Tung, Esq. on August 03, 2016 6:59 AM

In-house attorneys are generally aware that workplace safety can be one of the most pressing concerns for a business client, but they might be less familiar with the implications of OSHA's Multi-Employer Citation Policy.

If you're wondering, what is OSHA's Multi-Employer Citation Policy? Then you're in luck. This quick overview is for you.

The Big Four

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the most common "Fatal Four" injury types are:

  • Falls
  • Electrocutions
  • Being struck by objects
  • Being stuck between objects

Liability for a company can be ruinous. According to The National Trial Lawyers, just one workplace injury amounted up to $64.5 million. Yikes.

The Typical Scenario

The usual case involves a construction site that has multiple employers immediately on hand. OSHA's response to this is a Multi-Employer Citation Policy (MECP).

MECP is appropriate in those cases where multiple employers are potentially citable for creating, exposing employees to, controlling, or correcting the dangerous condition. Generally, it's the case that an employer falls into one of these four categories, although there can be overlap. Any employer who is found to be factually within one of these situations is subject to citation if he fails to strictly observe key conduct.

If you represent a company, particularly a high-danger professional company like a construction company, you owe it to your client to explain to them the implications they face under OSHA's Multi-Employer Citation Policy. Obviously. It's not the sort of talk that they are going to want to hear, but then -- lawyers are often caught in that situation.

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