How would you handle this one?  The homeowner comes on site and gets injured when some drywall falls on them, and, of course, they're suing. (See "Home builder and others blamed for drywall falling on homeowner during construction visit," Madison Record, 4/23/14).

We all know job sites are dangerous places, but seasoned trades people also know how to navigate the hazards. OSHA keeps everyone on their toes, but can safety rules cover every contingency? At some point in the course of the job, various tools and some materials need to be put in some "unsecured" place. Is the sub really at fault here?

Then there's the whole legal dimension. For starters, general contractors should be including a hold-harmless clause to share the responsibility for a safe workplace with subs (see: "Legal Column: Liability Insurance and Indemnification," JLC 3/03). But what else? Can you limit the homeowners access to their own home?  How should a responsible contractor handle a homeowner's visit?