According to a March 16, 2009 article in Inside OSHA, industry attorneys feel the recent federal appeals court ruling upholding the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) authority to cite controlling entities for safety violations committed by subcontractors has not entirely settled the dispute.
According to the article, the upheld ruling came as a blow to construction industry members who argue they should not be held liable for employees who are not their own. Some industry sources are sending mixed signals about the decision and its broader implications, suggesting the court’s ruling may not set a broad legal precedent unless it is appealed to the Supreme Court and granted review.
Venable partner Ron Taylor explained that the original Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission's (OSHRC) decision against the OSHA's multi-employer policy is still legally binding outside the jurisdiction of the Eighth Circuit. "It's possible that another federal appeals court may find the Eighth Circuit’s decision persuasive but it’s not required," he said.