Workplace Safety

When a employee is working on the property of another and is injured there is always a fight over whether the employee can sue the property owner who hired the injured person’s employer to perform the work.

Here is a case out of California that the issue this way: “when, if ever, is a landowner that hires an independent contractor liable to an employee of that contractor who is injured as the result of hazardous conditions on the landowner’s premises? Specifically, in this case we must decide whether a carpenter employed by an independent contractor that installed scaffolding for workers who replaced asbestos insulation in an oil refinery facility
may sue the refinery owners for injuries caused by exposure to asbestos, when it is claimed that only the refinery owner knew the carpenter was being exposed to a hazardous substance.”

The 33-page opinion gave rise to this result: “a landowner that hires an independent contractor may be liable to the contractor’s employee if the following conditions are present: the landowner knew, or should have known, of a latent or concealed preexisting
hazardous condition on its property, the contractor did not know and could not have reasonably discovered this hazardous condition, and the landowner failed to warn the contractor about this condition.” [Footnote omitted.]

Read it all here.

Thanks to Safetylex for informing me about this opinion.