OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at http://www.osha.gov.
May 20, 2010
Letter # 20090115-8796
Re: Multi-Employer obligations with respect to electrical cords.
Question #1: On a construction worksite where there are subcontractors and a general contractor,
which employers are subject to an OSHA citation for electrical cords that violate subpart K standards?
Pursuant to the OSH Act and the Multi-Employer Citation Policy,1 any
employer that exposes one of its employees to the hazards created by an unsafe electrical cord on a
construction site may be subject to an OSHA citation. In situations where an employer's own employees are
not exposed to a hazard, that employer may still be subject to OSHA coverage if the employer qualifies as
a "creating," "correcting," or "controlling" employer. Please refer to the attached
Multi-Employer Citation Policy for further guidance.
Question #2: On a construction worksite where there are subcontractors and a general contractor,
which employer has the right to take a hazardous electrical cord out of service?
This is a contractual matter that is not governed by OSHA; however, more than one employer may be subject to
an OSHA citation here, as discussed above.
Bill Parsons, Acting Director
Directorate of Construction
1http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=DIRECTIVES&p_id=2024. Go to "directives" under the "laws and regulations" tab
on the OSHA home page and search for CPL 02-00-124. [back to text]