The foreman for a steel erection sub and another employee were both photographed, by an OSHA inspector, “working on the edge of a 15-foot high concrete block wall without fall protection.” When their employer was cited by OSHA, the employer raised the “rogue employee” argument and said that the foreman's safety violation should not be imputed to his employer. But the Court of Appeal did not buy that argument. It first described the “classic situation” of imputed knowledge as when the supervisor sees an unsafe work activity by subordinates and allows the activity to continue. Then: “We see little difference between that classic situation in which knowledge is imputed and the instant situation involving supervisor Pacheco and subordinate Vargas. In both cases, the supervisor sees the violation by the subordinate, knows there is a violation, but disregards the safety rule for one reason or another.”
Written by AGC Advisory Council Board Member Stan Martin
Stan Martin started his construction career wearing a toolbelt, and now has more than 30 years' experience as a construction attorney.