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Legal Tips for a Successful Construction Project


Contractors who take on projects have a huge responsibility to ensure that all aspects comport with federal, state and local laws. In addition, contractors and their attorneys must remain apprised of laws and other legalities that will affect the project during all stages. Contractors must also know how certain legal decisions will affect the worker, owner and third-parties related to the project. 

Follow Safety Regulations

Florida’s OSHA (the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration) equivalent is called the Occupational Health and Safety Program (OSHP).  This agency is managed by the Florida Department of Health.  The agency focuses on setting and enforcing health and safety guidelines to the employers of the state of Florida.  Given the inherent dangers associated with the construction industry construction, its employers receive a large volume of communication from the regulators at  OSHP.  The agency looks into causes of work-related injuries, illness, and death and seeks to reduce those risks.  The risks OSHP is interested in can be mechanical, biological and chemical in nature. Contractors must ensure that their project site is in direct compliance with OSHP and OSHA regulations to ensure the safety of workers and other associated with the project.

Become Knowledgeable of Legal Liability Issues

Actions conducted by a worker under the normal course of business will implicate the general contractor for the purposes of liability.  Actions conducted by the worker that is done outside of the normal activities of work or one that is reckless, negligent or criminal in nature will not implicate the liability of the contractor.  The contractor-employer may possess the greatest standard of care on the construction site. In the area of accident liability, the standard of care dictates the outcome of the case and where liability falls. Generally speaking, the standard of care is the degree of care that a reasonable person should exercise under the circumstances. Failure to meet the standard of care may result in liability. Third party liability for injury or accident on a construction site is a bit more novel than liability that is assigned to a worker, subcontractor, or general contractor.  Third party liability for accident or loss has to be extreme such that it does not implicate any action or inaction by the general contractor. 

The Importance of Florida’s Lien Law

Florida lien law provides that all claimants must provide notice to the owner no later than 90 days from the last day labor or supplies were delivered. In turn, within 10 days of the request, a general contractor must furnish a list of all subcontractors and suppliers who worked on the project.  Failure to furnish a list of subs and suppliers will result in possible legal penalty and forfeiture of a challenge to the lien.

Contact an Attorney for Help

Fort Lauderdale construction lawyer Brendan Sweeney possesses years of experience drafting, reviewing and advising on construction contracts and a variety of other legal issues that may arise on a construction site. Become knowledgeable about the issues discussed above to avoid legal pitfalls. Contact us now for a consultation.




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