Question: Does a property owner have a duty to provide a safe place to work for an independent contractor?
Answer: Generally, the owner of property has no duty to furnish the employees of an independent contractor a safe place to work in the broad sense as the phrase is applied to an employer. However, the owner is under a duty to keep the property in a reasonably safe condition for business invitees, including employees of independent contractors.
The “best definition” of that duty provides that:
A possessor of land is subject to liability for physical harm caused to his invitees by a condition on the land if, but only if, he (a) knows or by the exercise of reasonable care would discover the condition, and should realize that it involves an unreasonable risk of harm to such invitees, and
(b) should expect that they will not discover or realize the danger, or will fail to protect themselves against it, and (c) fails to exercise reasonable care to protect them against the danger. An invitee is entitled to expect that the possessor will take reasonable care to ascertain the actual condition of the premises and, having discovered it, either to make it reasonably safe by repair or to give warning of the actual condition and the risk involved therein.