|Evaluating contractors safety performance and their ability to properly perform the contracted work is the responsibility of the owner hiring the contractor. Many companies don’t realize this responsibility, or simply can not find the time to set up a proper evaluation system or to conduct evaluations. This can end up costing owners in the long run, if OSHA ever has reason to inspect their facility.|
When incidents occur in industrial sites and OSHA decides to perform inspections, they can levy fines for any violations to the regulations. Hiring a contractor does not shed an owner of its responsibility. Hiring parties can and do get fined along with their unsafe contractors.
Below are references to three OSHA news releases which are examples of OSHA investigations and the associated penalties.
Region 1 News Release: BOS 99-078
Tuesday, May 4, 1999
If you read the News Release in its entirety (found on OSHA’s web site) you will notice that the primary reason for OSHA’s inspection of this particular Chemical companies facility was for the improper storage and management of flammable liquids. This company was not only cited for this, but also for many other Process Safety Management requirements which were not being met. One of these was the evaluation of contractors.
Region 1 News ReleaseUSDL: 95-373
Wednesday, September 13, 1995
If you read the News Release in its entirety (found on OSHA’s web site) you will notice that the primary reason for OSHA’s inspection of this particular Chemical companies facility was for a fire and explosion which killed two workers and injured three others. This article did not indicate that contractors were involved but this company was fined, in addition to several other things, for not having a process for evaluating contractors.
Region 1 News Release: BOS 2000-104
Thursday, July 27, 2000
If you read this News Release in its entirety (found on OSHA’s web site) you will notice that OSHA not only cites the general contractor performing renovation work where asbestos was found, but also cites the company who serves as the construction manager. This company, the construction manger, is referred to as the representative of the owner. Although it is unclear from this article exactly how each company individually failed to meet OSHA requirements, it is inferred that there is a linked responsibility between the owner (or its representative) and any contractors which they hire.