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Federal OSHA Multi-Employer Worksite Policy Summary


On multi-employer worksites more than one employer may be citable for a hazardous condition that violates an OSHA standard and is responsible for identifying, correcting and/or managing the hazard. In order to assure that safety protocols for inspection, identification and correction of hazards are set and followed, and that hazards are exposed and steps taken to either correct, avoid or safely work in proximity to them, it is incumbent that every employer, venue, payroll company, producer and subcontractor in the entertainment industries understand their responsibilities in our multi-employer environments.

A two-step process must be followed in determining whether more than one employer is responsible.

Step One
The first step is to determine whether an employer is:

  •   a creating employer
  •   an exposing employer
  •   a correcting employer
  •   a controlling employer

The definitions below explain and give examples of each. Remember that an employer may have multiple roles.

Step Two
If the employer falls into one of these categories, it has obligations with respect to OSHA requirements. The extent of the actions required of employers varies based on which category applies. Note that the 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.

The Creating Employer The employer that caused a hazardous condition that violates an OSHA standard. Employers must not create condition that violates OSHA standards. An employer that does so is citable even if the only employees exposed are those of other employers at the site.
The Exposing Employer An employer whose own employees are exposed to the hazard.

If the exposing employer created the violation, it is citable for the violation as a creating employer. If the violation was created by another employer, the exposing employer is citable if it meets one or more of the following conditions;

  1. knew of the hazardous condition or failed to exercise reasonable diligence to discover the condition, and
  2. failed to take steps consistent with its authority to protect its employees. If the exposing employer has authority to correct the hazard, it must do so. If the exposing employer lacks the authority to correct the hazard, it is citable if it fails to do each of the following:
    1. ask the creating and/or controlling employer to   correct the hazard;
    2. inform its employees of the hazard; and
    3. take reasonable alternative protective measures. In   extreme circumstances (e.g., imminent danger   situations), the exposing employer is citable for failing   to remove its employees from the job to avoid the   hazard.
The Correcting Employer An employer who is engaged in a common undertaking, on the same worksite, as the exposing employer and is responsible for correcting a hazard. This usually occurs where an employer is given the responsibility of installing and/or maintaining particular safety/health equipment or devices. The correcting employer must exercise reasonable care in preventing and discovering violations and meet its obligations of correcting the hazard.

The Controlling Employer

See Types of Controlling Employers

An employer who has general supervisory authority over the worksite, including the power to correct safety and health violations itself or require others to correct them. Control can be established by contract or, in the absence of explicit contractual provisions, by the exercise of control in practice.

A controlling employer must exercise reasonable care to prevent and detect violations on the site. The extent of the measures that a controlling employer must implement to satisfy this duty of reasonable care is less than what is required of an employer with respect to protecting its own employees. This means that the controlling employer is not normally required to inspect for hazards as frequently or to have the same level of knowledge of the applicable standards or of trade expertise as the employer it has hired.


1. A creating, correcting or controlling employer will often also be an exposing employer. Consider whether the employer is an exposing employer before evaluating its status with respect to these other roles.

2. Exposing, creating and controlling employers can also be correcting employers if they are authorized to correct the hazard.