OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at http://www.osha.gov.
August 5, 1993
John P. Majewski, Esq.
Howd & Ludorf
Attorneys at Law
65 Wethersfield Avenue
Hartford, Connecticut 06114-1190
Dear Mr. Majewski:
This is in response to your May 26 letter requesting the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) policy regarding the duties of a "construction manager" on a multi-employer worksite.
The enclosed pages taken from OSHA's Field Operations Manual will provide general information regarding enforcement on multi-employer worksites. The most direct basis for legal liability on such sites is exposure of one's own employees to violative conditions. There may be a legal defense if the cited employer did not create or control the violative conditions, lacks the ability to abate the violation, has sought abatement of the violation, and has taken other reasonable steps to lessen the degree of exposure. A construction manager can obviously be an "exposing" employer.
To the extent that a construction manager has a role in directing the manner or timing of the work, it may be cited as a "creating" employer if a violation occurs as a result of its direction. Depending on the circumstances, including contractual responsibility or the assumption of a safety-monitoring role, a construction manager may also be a "controlling" employer. A controlling employer is one having the responsibility or authority to have violative conditions corrected. General (or prime) contractors are controlling employers for many types of violations that occur on construction sites, but they may choose to carry out their safety role in whole or in part through a construction manager.
If we can be of any further assistance, please contact me or Mr. Dale Cavanaugh of my staff at (202) 219-8136.
Roy F. Gurnham, P.E., Esq. Director
Office of Construction and Maritime