Safety on the Job Site

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3 comments

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    Gang Chen

    I think the architect should notify the contractor and the owner, and document everything.

    Gang Chen, Author, Architect, LEED AP BD+C (GreenExamEducation.com)

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    Evan Berger

    This is a good question!

    Basically to understand the answer is to understand at its core what the duties and responsibilities of all parties are. You are correct when you say it’s the architects duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public, but this is with our responsibilities, which is design work and administration of the contract. The contractor is the ones who have the responsibilities of means and methods and with that includes specifically job safety. So that is their realm in which they protect. If you don’t say anything, but it is noted that you did observe the situation, you could be held reliable for not holding up your responsibilities as the administer of the construction contract, but this does not mean “tell the person who is practicing in an in safe manner”. That person is under the realm of the contractor, so it’s the contractor who you want to tell them of your observation. By telling the contractor you are NOT directing safety of the site and meerly letting the contractor know they are not abiding by the contract documents by keeping their site safe. If they don’t do anything to correct it, then you go to the owner because the contractual relationship is not with the architect and the contractor, it’s with the contractor and the owner. If you were to say tell the person themselves that they need to be more safe and not tell the contractor to do that, then you are stepping into the contractors realm, and the liability of you directing now falls on you as someone who is directing safety of the site. This is not our expertise and that’s why it is specifically spelled out that we do not direct construction. We simply make sure it’s in accordance with the contract documents. It would be the same as if a sub came up to the GC and asked them if the door was the correct size for ADA clearances and instead of asking the architect, they simply answer yes.. because it was not verified with the expert, the contractor now takes on the risk and liability of that information because they have stepped into the architects realm.

    I hope this properly answers your question.

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    Sabreen Masharkah

    Evan Berger, thank you so much for explaining it so concisely! This makes so much sense now. 
    Much Appreciated.

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