- Apportionment (negligence)
- Transfer of costs
The appellant employer was hired for concrete forming by the general contractor at a construction site. A mechanical contractor was also hired by the general contractor for installation of heating, cooling and plumbing systems. A worker of the mechanical contractor was injured when a reshoring post fell over and struck the worker on the head. The Board assigned 75% of the costs of the claim to the concrete contractor and 25% of the costs to the general contractor. The concrete contractor appealed, claiming that it should not be responsible for any of the costs of the claim.The concrete contractor was contracted for multi-level concrete forming at the construction site. This included installation and maintenance of reshoring posts. Reshoring posts are used as support below the level where new concrete is being installed in order to distribute safely the load of the structure under construction. Reshoring posts do not fall over on their own. Moving reshoring posts is possible but only for a short distance, and could lead to problems if moved too far or if moved incorrectly.The Panel found that the mechanical contractor was negligent by beginning installation-related work at the building level where reshoring posts were still installed, which is against industry best practices. The reshoring posts created a physical obstacle to the installation activities. The reshoring posts were moved at various times without explicit permission of the concrete contractor. The mechanical contractor was at the heart of the activities on that level, since the workers of the concrete contractor were working on a different level of the building.The general contractor was negligent by allowing installation-related work by the mechanical contractor to begin at a level where reshoring posts were still installed, which was against industry best practices. The general contractor was aware that reshoring posts were being moved in that area without the explicit permission of the concrete contractor.The concrete contractor was negligent by failing to increase the frequency of inspections, since it knew that reshoring posts were being moved without its explicit permission. The reshoring posts in the area of the accident had not been inspected for two weeks.In the circumstances, the Panel assigned 20% of the costs of the claim to the concrete contractor, 40% to the mechanical contractor and 40% to the general contractor.The appeal was allowed in part.