Understanding OSHA's Multiemployer Policy
Safety Consultant with Sheldon Primus
Understanding OSHA's Multiemployer Policy
October 2, 2023
The OSHA Multi-Employer Doctrine can be confusing for anyone, but there is a theme. Even if you don't fall under OSHA's jurisdiction, you can use this guide to help provide services to each type of employer on a job site.
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By Safety FM. Welcome to the Safety Consultant Podcast. I'm your host, Sheldon Primus. It's the podcast where I teach you the business of being a safety consultant. I talk about OSHA compliance in the US. We talked about general safety and health, safety management, how to run your business for safety and health consulting. I got a whole bunch of stuff in there, right? Welcome back. Thank you, everyone, for listening. I even got my data up today. I don't even have to look around for the data. I got it right here, tip of my fingers. Let's go ahead and begin with to show you guys and thanking everybody that's listening wherever you are. Let's give you the charts. I'm going to give you the whole charts this time. But I'm going to start with the charts and then after that, I'm going to tell you where everyone's listening from. The chart says that this is the Apple podcast for Saudi Arabia. I'm 122 Chile. I am 28 in UAE. I am 102. Cutter, I am 12. Wow! This is an Apple podcast in the government section. In Senegal, number 31. Look at that. Three of you guys, Chile, Cutter, and Senegal, I am in the top 50.

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Wow! That is awesome. Thank you so much. Let's see, another one notable for global government reach. I am 143 on the chartable guide. That is the actual charts. Now, let's tell you where you guys are listening from. This is the audience side. This is the demographics. They go through everybody who is listening on their devices, Apple, and all those other fun providers. They let us know where everyone's listening from. As far as listeners and where everyone's from, here's the locations. I'm going to give you guys the top 10: US, Nepal, Thailand, Canada, France, Germany, Bahrain, Cambodia. Cambodia, you guys are new. That's where my daughter literally was. She just left Cambodia and she's now in Vietnam. Rwanda. Rwanda? Nice. Australia and Korea. You guys are the top 10. Thank you so much for listening, everybody. No matter where you're from and just wherever you are in this world, if you're listening to this podcast, you are a friend of mine. Thank you so much. I really like doing that because it's cool for me. I've been doing this for a little while now and just seeing all the different reach of people and where everyone is.

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Thank you guys. Oh, man. Why did I say a little while? Let's see how many episodes while I'm here. I'm going to click over. I'm looking at my Becast. Becast. Com is where I have my hosting. But if you go to sheldonprimus. Com, you'll see the website. But if you go to safetyconsulted podcast, that's where I'm hosted. I can't believe I forgot my own URL. We're on episode 231, that was last week's. Welcome, everybody. All right, so this week, what I'm going to do is I really want to start off by talking a little bit about the multi-employer work site. Now, if you guys didn't know, I was voted number one construction podcast and this was in one of those podcasting services, feed spot. Thank you. I just figured might as well talk a little construction real quick for you guys. And this isn't actually just construction, but a lot of people associate this multi-employer work site with just construction. But that's what we'll talk about real quick, is the OSHA, multi-employer work site policy. It again isn't just construction, but a lot of the wording that you'll hear is usually used in construction. Let's tell you what it is first and foremost, and I'm going to give you their compliance letter.

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It's Compliance Letter 2-0-124. That's the compliance letter number. Honestly, if you go on the OSHA website, you type that in, or even a Google search, or any of those search engines types, you'll get that in, and then you're going to get the doctor in for you. It's great to have. For those of you that are outside of OSHA's jurisdiction, this is going to help you where you could go onto a work site and you could focus on hazard and exposure and then be able to see copability. That's really what this is. It's a nice little copability model just so OSHA could figure out who gets, well, whose workers are exposed and then they decide what's the appropriate thing. First, multi-employee work site, this is the policies and here's the definition. It says, On multi-employer work sites in all industries, more than one employer may be citedable for a hazardous condition that violates an OSHA standard. The two-step process must be followed to determine whether more than one employer is to be cited. Step one, first is to determine whether the employer is creating, exposing, correcting, or controlling employer. Those are just definitions specifically to show role in relationship to the hazard.

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Well, three are to the hazard and one to the employer, which is the controlling employer, is related to the project, but the rest are related to the proximity of the hazard. Then step two, if the employer falls into one of these categories, it has an obligation with respect to OSHA requirement. Basically, first they have to be under OSHA's jurisdiction, and then they have to fall under the criteria of creating, exposing, correcting, and controlling. At that point, if the employer's actions were sufficient to meet those obligations, the extent of actions required of the employer varies based on each category applied. It's against culpability. Here are the four roles. You're going to go into a work site, you see that there's multiple company logos on trucks. That's your first tip-off, right? Or if you're familiar with the project stage and you start seeing a whole bunch of different employers on a project stage, then now you know there's a lot happening. Also, when they show up, regulatory agency, they're looking for usually first exposure, and then after they find exposure, then it becomes a little bit easier for them to look for hazards that are near to the exposure.

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The creating employer is the employer who creates the hazard. Exposing employer has workers that are exposed to the hazard. Correcting employer is the person who has the responsibility and the authority to correct the hazard. Then controlling employer is the person who is responsible by contract or just the person who is responsible for that project. At the time, that will be the controlling employer. As OSHA goes around, they're going to be checking for those things. They're going to be looking for it. You now, as a consultant, what you're going to do is you're looking for not just where you're going to place blame, but you really want to figure out which is everyone's role. That's going to tell you culpability. If your client is the creating employer, the person who made the hazard, they can't get what's... It's called, if someone gets cited, there's a way for them to get out of a citation, and it's the legal defense against citation. That's in this policy as well. In order for that person to try to get a legal defense against citation. This one, though, is only OSHA-driven. For those of you outside of OSHA's jurisdiction, it doesn't count for you.

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But for those of you that are in OSHA's jurisdiction, then the defense against citation is first at you can't be a creating employer, making the hazard. You can't be the correcting employer, the person responsible for fixing the hazard that has the responsibility for that, so you can't be creating or correcting. Then if you do have workers exposed to a hazard and you're trying to get this legal defense against citation, you're going to end up having to show that you did all you can to first alert everyone of the condition, and then secondly, take care of your employees. If you did those two things, alerted people of the condition and take care of your employees, those are the things that will say that you did the best you could. Then you could get the legal defense against citation. It's a five-part thing, so you actually need to have all five of those parts addressed before you could say that you got legal defense against citation. That's one of the rules. Again, that's OSHA basis. One, for those who are outside the OSHA jurisdiction, you are going to be looking for the roles of everyone, and that's going to help you know their culpability.

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If someone has a worker exposed, they're the most open to a citation and most open to the worker getting injured, right? You're going to work with them and try to help them create solutions. You're not going to be talking about OSHA jurisdiction because you're not in OSHA jurisdiction, but you're going to identify these workforce and these employees that are vulnerable to getting hurt, talk to their bosses, and then try to work your programs such as written programs. You might want to suggest some training if you could do that as a service, or you may even do a compliance audit for whoever the general contractor of that site is or the host of that site. Because you could do this, a multi-employer in many industries. It's all of the industries for OSHA's jurisdictions. What that means is sometimes you're going to end up having to talk to a boss and say, Hey, you're exposed to this. Your workers are exposed to this. Now let's say it's a fall hazard. I happen to have a fall protection training class, and you can work on that. Or you could go by and see a bunch of workers together and they're cutting silica and concrete and it's cut silica all over the place.

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Now you could say, Well, I've got some exposure control plans that I could write for you. Something similar. That's the benefit of first identifying the site as being multi-employer. Then secondly, the next thing that you want to do is as a consultant, you want to provide service. That's the key. You got to provide some service for that. All right, so that was really quick, but I just want you guys to just think about the multi-employer work site and see if there's a way for you to use what's on that doctrine to help you with your business. Just be creative. When there's more than one employer, that means you have more than one possibility to work with different kinds. But you got it. All right, King, go get them.

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Opinions expressed on this podcast or broadcast are those of the host of the guest and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the company. Examples of analysis discussed within the past hour are only examples. They should not be utilized in the real world as the only solution available, as they are based on very limited and dated open-source information. Assumptions made within this analysis are not reflective of the position of the company. No part of this podcast or broadcast may be reproduced, stored within a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, mechanical, electronic, recording, or otherwise without prior written permission of the creator of the podcast or broadcast, Sheldon Brimis. Come on, come on, academic. Come on, come on, academic.