Hahn Loeser & Parks, LLP

On Feb. 1, 2019, the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC) reversed an OSHA citation issued to Suncor Energy (U.S.A.) Inc., as the controlling employer, for a fall protection violation. In this ruling, the OSHRC found that as a controlling employer, Suncor was not liable for two main reasons. First, it had a robust safety program in place that not only met, but exceeded OSHA’s minimum standards. Second, it had a rigid enforcement program…
On Feb. 28 the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC) reversed a citation issued to A.H. Sturgill Roofing, Inc. for the heat-related death of an employee, finding that all of the elements of proof of the violation had not been met by the Secretary of Labor. Sturgill’s citation was for a general duty clause violation for exposing its employee “to the hazard of excessive heat from working on a commercial roof in the direct…
A draft bill provided to the Ohio legislature from Governor Mike DeWine aimed at addressing Ohio’s transportation infrastructure funding problem is in the works. The Ohio Contractors Association is actively promoting awareness of this development to its membership, which includes important information on the bill’s likely impact on the industry.  For full details, click here.…
Hahn Loeser is involved in a construction fatality where the Cleveland OSHA office’s compliance officer wanted to use a drone to fly over the site to photograph and videotape the site and the equipment involved in the fatality. OSHA agreed to share the drone footage with the employers involved in the OSHA investigation. This request came as part of OSHA’s new inspection procedure. On May 11, 2018, OSHA’s Director of Enforcement Programs issued a memorandum…
Many of us have heard the old saying that “decisions are made by those who show up.” The Ohio Facilities and Construction Commission (“OFCC”) is currently giving design and construction professionals involved in the construction of public schools the opportunity to show up, or more accurately speak up, to provide comments on contract general conditions and specifications of OFCC, including those in the Ohio School Design Manual (“OSDM”), as well as on the materials and…
Strict Application of Claims Waiver Provisions Bars Surety Payment Claims In Berkley Ins. Co. v. Kent State Univ., Ohio Ct. of Cl. No. 2018-00579JD (Jan. 14, 2019), the Ohio Court of Claims expanded its prior rulings strictly enforcing contract dispute resolution provisions in the public construction contract arena. The Court ruled, despite the circumstances that actually existed between the contracting parties, that a contractor’s surety who takes over and completes a project after the contractor’s default and…
In the case of Waverly City School District Board of Education, et al. v. Triad AR, Inc, et al., the Fourth Appellate District Court found that recovery is not limited to the amount of damages claimed; rather, the owner is entitled to recover damages on each contract, apart from any recovery on the other separate and distinct contracts. This means that an owner may recover damages in excess of the total damages identified for each responsible subtrade. Upstream…
The Ohio Department of Transportation recently announced significant changes to the On the Job Training Program (“OJT Program”) that will take effect on January 1, 2019.  Because these changes will impact on-going multi-year projects as well as new ODOT projects that will begin construction in 2019, all Ohio contractors are advised to review and familiarize themselves with the new changes.  The complete OJT Program manual is available on the ODOT website here.  The following…
Effective October 1, 2018, Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has created a new National Emphasis Program (Directive Number CPL-02-00-161) for Trenching and Excavation due to a recent spike in trenching fatalities nationwide. This new Program provides updated guidance and increased enforcement on the National Emphasis Program OSHA has had in place for trenching/ excavation since 1985. (CPL-02-00-269). The first three months of this new National Emphasis Program will focus on educational outreach,…
Ohio High Court’s October 2018 Ruling Denying Coverage for Defective Construction Work Confirms Need to Re-Evaluate and Revise Traditional Risk Transfer Mechanisms Beware!  On October 9, 2018, the Ohio Supreme Court issued a final ruling that, not surprisingly, will effectively eliminate meaningful insurance coverage for contractors, subcontractors, and owners for defective construction work. The most recent ruling reaffirms what experienced construction counsel cautioned for years; project participants cannot rely on comprehensive general liability (“CGL”) insurance…