What New York General Contractors Need To Know About Their Subcontractors


A big part of mitigating risk for your contracting business is making the right decisions each and every day. You need to have a good maintenance schedule in place for your equipment, you need to hold regular safety training sessions for your employees, and you need to make sure that you always hire the right subcontractors.

While your subcontractors may be responsible to you for the work they, you are the general contractor and you are responsible for the overall quality of the project. If subcontractors get your project shut down, then you need to address the problem quickly or you company will lose money. That is why it is important to know what to look for in a sub-contractor before you make your final decision.

The Right Equipment
When you are talking to a subcontractor that you know you will be hiring often, then it is a good idea to check out their equipment before you make your decision. A subcontractor that does not properly maintain their equipment, or have the right equipment for the job, is significantly increasing your risk for every project. Avoid hiring subcontractors that do not take their equipment seriously.

Check Their Insurance
Part of what our business experts do is help your contracting business to have all of the insurance it needs in place to perform each job with peace of mind. We should also be involved in choosing your subcontractors so that we can determine if each subcontractor has the proper amount and right type of liability insurance, and any other insurance that would be needed for the project.

Ask About Their Safety Program
As a general contractor, you have a comprehensive safety training program in place that holds your workers accountable for understanding how to create a safe workplace. You should expect your subcontractors to take safety just as seriously, and you should insist on seeing their safety program and training logs before hiring them.

OSHA Requirements
Some OSHA requirements are specific by project, others are necessary for every project. Does the subcontractor you are considering have a competent person for each job site as outlined by OSHA? Does the subcontractor have a history of OSHA violations? You can tell a lot about the comprehensive nature of any subcontractor by how seriously they take their OSHA commitments.

Job Site Inspections
One of the first things you should ask to see from a potential subcontractor is their job site inspection log, and their policies for handling job site issues. A good subcontractor will do reliable safety inspections of each job site, and they will have comprehensive logs of every inspection that was ever done. If a subcontractor cannot provide this information, then you do not want to work with that subcontractor.
Even though a subcontractor is its own business entity, the general contractor still assumes the risk when a subcontractor comes to work on a project. You can reduce your exposure to risk by making sure that you do comprehensive interviews with every subcontractor, and take the necessary steps to protect the best interests of your contracting business.