Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents|
| Standard Number:||1926.20; 1926.20(b)(1); 1926.20(b)(2); 1926.21; 1926.21(b)(2); 1926.200|
February 6, 2012
(b) Accident prevention responsibilities.
29 CFR §1926.21(b)(2) provides:
(b) Employer responsibility.
Under the Multi-Employer Citation Policy1, CPL 2-0.124, (the Policy) "more than one employer may be citable for a hazardous condition that violates an OSHA standard." Any employer that exposes one of its employees to the hazards created by an unsafe condition may be subject to an OSHA citation. In situations where an employer's own employees are not exposed to a hazard, that employer may still be subject to OSHA coverage if the employer qualifies as a "creating," "correcting," or "controlling" employer. A two-step process is used to determine whether more than one employer may be cited for a hazardous condition.
Step One. The first step is to determine whether the employer is a creating, exposing, correcting, or controlling employer2. Once you determine the role of the employer, Step Two is used to determine whether a citation is appropriate.
As the Policy notes, "[t]he extent of the measures that a controlling employer must take to satisfy its duty to exercise reasonable care to prevent and detect violations is less than what is required of an employer with respect to protecting its own employees." As with any citation, a citation cited under the Policy is based on the unique facts and circumstances of each case.
furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees.
An employer can be cited for a violation of the General Duty Clause if a recognized hazard exists in the workplace and the employer does not take reasonable steps to prevent or abate the hazard. As you correctly noted in your letter, an employer cannot be cited for a violation of the General Duty Clause under the Multi-Employer Citation Policy unless he is the exposing employer. Consequently, only the exposing employer can be cited for any slipping hazard created by glue spread on a floor. If the employer chooses to erect signs near the area alerting workers to the hazard, the signs must conform to the specifications discussed in 29 CFR 1926.200 Accident prevention signs and tags3.
1 The Multi-Employer Citation Policy can be viewed on OSHA's website at: http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=DIRECTIVES&p_id=2024. [Return to Text]
2 These terms are defined in the Policy. [Return to Text]
3 29 CFR 1926.200 can be viewed on OSHA's website at http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_id=10681&p_table=STANDARDS. [Return to Text]
|Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents|
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