Published on
Last updated on

Subcontractors and Assigning Responsibility in Workplace Accidents

Multiple teams work on most construction projects these days.  A general contractor brings in an electrician, a plumber and any other needs that his team may not have the expertise in themselves.  But what happens if something goes wrong?

There was a recent case when that happened.  A worker for the general contractor was working on ceiling tile and allegedly came into contact with exposed wiring reportedly put there by the electrical team.  The worker was injured, and tried to bring a case agains the electrical contractor, arguing that they had brough the dangerous workplace situation and were responsible for the plaintiff's injuries.  

The courts saw it differently, and it's instructive for workers who may be working as just one part of a number of a number of workers on site.  The judges argued that the general contractor had overall job site safety responsibility, meaning that since he hired the contractors, it was his responsibility to handle their needs, no matter who caused the situation.  Knowing what counts as workers' compensation would have helped this plaintiff, as well as on any negligence claims.

The construction industry may be seeing a bit more of a recovery, but workers know that doesn't mean that revenue is streaming in, so their bosses may want to use sub-contractors.  If you are working as a sub-contractor it is important to know your workers' compensation rights.  Questions?  Feel free to call Markhoff & Mittman for a FREE consultation.