A Norcross, Ga.-based construction company was found to be the controlling employer at a multi-employer worksite by the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, putting the company on the hook for nearly $200,000 in penalties for OSHA violations, Business Insurance reports. The company was initially cited for violations in 2016, but contested the OSHA citations, arguing it should not be held responsible for the conditions at the multi-employer worksite.

Norcross, Ga.-based Fama Construction received several citations after a Dec. 9, 2016, OSHA inspection of two of the company’s residential construction sites in Lawrenceville, Ga. Fama was cited for violating the same three construction standards—violation of eye and face protection, duty to have fall protection and ladder issues—in each of two houses under construction but with different penalties and characterizations.

Fama contested the citations and proposed penalties, arguing that it could not be held responsible for the conditions at the worksite under the multiemployer doctrine, contending that it only secures roofing contracts and that the workers were employed by subcontractors who directed the work and had the responsibility for complying with OSHA standards.

The judge, however, concluded that Fama was the employer of the work crews, or “in the alternative … a controlling employer of the work crews.”

A controlling employee is defined by OSHA's multi-employer policy as an employer who has general supervisory authority over a worksite, including the power to correct safety and health violations or require others to correct them.

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