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Open and obvious is not a defense to claims against a general contractor for failing to maintain a safe work site

  In Krause v. Grace Community Church, the Court of Appeals reaffirmed the policy that a general contractor's duty to maintain a safe work site includes a duty to eliminate unreasonably dangerous conditions--even if they could be characterized as "open and obvious", but dismissed the injured employee's claims against the people who negligently created a dangerous condition.

 Relying on the Supreme Court's reasoning in the Ghaffari cases, the Court of Appeals noted that there are public policy reasons for holding a general contractor to a higher duty than we impose on the occupier of a property.  While we certainly agree with the need to assure that general contractors fulfill their obligation to maintain a reasonably safe work site, we see no public policy basis for refusing to impose upon land occupiers a duty to eliminate hazardous conditions which they know to exist.

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